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Warr Says There is a Delay in Installing Street Lights on U.S. 90
by Keith Burton - GCN

Motorist looking forward to seeing street lights on dark U.S. 90 in Gulfport will have to wait some more. NewsRadio 104.9 FM interviewed Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr recently and was told that the lighting project is experiencing a small delay.

"We were originally told that we would be able stand the poles up and to have Christmas ornaments hanging from them or Christmas lights on the poles by mid November. But I heard today that there would be a slight setback having to do with the concrete work for the pedestals that will delay them for a couple of weeks, but by November or December we should see some," Warr told NewsRadio 104.9.

Warr says even with the delay, the lights should be up "soon."

Work on the lights in Gulfport started at the end of August with a winter 2007 completion date. Warr turned down the type of lights that were installed prior to Katrina in favor of decorative-style fixtures.

Warr has long promised that his city will have decorative lights and poles to add character and distinction to Gulfport. That is what is being installed, though GCN has not been able to determine what the poles and lights will look like, or whether they were ordered from China. Warr took a trip to the Far East earlier this year with part of his mission to examine street lights manufactured in that country. The decorative lights that Warr wants have become a key element of his personal vision for the city. The standard-style lights could have been installed months ago.

A delay surfaced earlier this year in the project when the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) told the city that the poles and lights would have to be approved by the Federal Highway Administration to meet federal highway standards for wind resistance, brightness and breakaway in case of accidents.

The work on the lights is costing the city $2.1 million dollars. The project will place lights from Debuys Road to Lewis Avenue near the Long Beach city limits. The contractor for the project is B&B Electrical & Utility Contractors, Inc., which has been installing conduit and power cables for the lights.

The lack of street lights along U.S. 90 in Gulfport has made the area seem even darker as a result of  the lack of rebuilding by beachfront businesses and their signs that once lined the highway prior to Katrina.

Neighboring Biloxi has had lights up on U.S. 90 since shortly after Katrina for most of the highway in that city. A section between Rodenberg Avenue and Beauvior Road is to be completed in Biloxi by the end of this month.

Additional Information:

Audio File on Warr's Interview with News Radio 104.9 - posted with permission of NewsRadio 104.9

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