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Biloxi and FEMA to Decide Future of Biloxi's Fishing Bridges

by Keith Burton - GCN        9/19/06

Hurricane Katrina did  more than destroy homes, businesses and the bridges on either end of U.S. 90 in Harrison County. The hurricane also took out the old fishing pier bridges in Biloxi and D'Iberville.

The fishing bridges, located south of Caillavet Street and at the end of Howard Avenue in Biloxi, were the old remains of roadways that for years have been popular for fishermen. And just like the larger, newer U.S. 90 bridges, Katrina's storm surge and winds pancaked the bridge at the end of Howard Ave, and severely damaged the even older fishing bridge to D'Iberville.

The bridges have long not been part of the responsibility of the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Butch Brown, the director of MDOT recently told GCN that the City of Biloxi, and  D'Iberville are responsible for fixing the old fishing bridges, or tearing them down.

It is expected that the old bridges will have to be removed as they are hazards to boaters. Biloxi is trying to come up with a plan for the old fishing bridges but it is expected that the city will turn to FEMA for help in financing the projects. However, Biloxi has yet to tell GCN what their plans are. GCN will update this story when that information becomes available.

The fishing bridge at the end of Caillavet Street near the IP Casino played a role in protecting the much larger I-110 bridge just to the west. The old bridge kept some boats and, even the barge from Boomtown from reaching the I-110 pylons during the hurricane.

Regardless, repairs, demolition or replacement costs are going to be high. The old bridge near the Palace Casino at the east end of Howard Avenue is currently an eye-sore and a navigation hazard to the casino and would also be a problem for any new casinos in the area that would want to build a marina.

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