Hurricane Katrina Forest Recovery

As we work together to tackle the historic challenge that Hurricane Katrina has presented to the forestry communities of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, we hope that this blog will be a valuable resource and tool.

Thursday, April 20

Beach Boulevard Project Progressing

According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), it is one step closer to beginning the permanent reconstruction of Beach Boulevard in this Gulf Coast city. Hurricane Katrina heavily damaged the road rendering it impassable to vehicular traffic.
On April 11, 2006 the Mississippi Transportation Commission entered into an agreement with Hancock County and the City of Bay St. Louis. Now the agency will advertise for services related to the design of the project.

Because of the financial blow sustained by coastal cities and counties after Katrina, MDOT was called on to fund and oversee the rebuilding of Beach Boulevard and apply for federal aid reimbursement as needed. Once the 1.2-mile project is completed, the road will be turned back over to Hancock County for maintenance authority, while the City of Bay St. Louis will maintain all utilities.

MDOT Six District engineer Ricky Lee said, "Once a contractor is chosen for the grading and asphalt work, MDOT will oversee all aspects of the construction process. When it is completed, local government bodies will once again own and maintain the road, and the city will regain this important transportation corridor."

Due to the immediate needs of the community, construction is underway now to build a temporary road along Beach Boulevard. Permanent road construction effort is expected to begin later this year depending on the right-of-way acquisition process. That project will begin near Washington Street in Bay St. Louis and continue through the city to U.S. 90.

"We cannot stress enough how important this road is to our city's recovery effort," said Bay St. Louis Mayor Eddie Favre. "Commercially, this road is vital to the city's economic livelihood, and it will be good to have our residents back in place."


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