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Communities Plan for Opening Ceremony of the New Bay St. Louis Bridge

From: Bob Davidge - For Hancock County Chamber of Commerce       Filed 4/27/07  GCN

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS. –  Business leaders from Hancock County and Harrison County are working together to make the opening day of the new Bay St. Louis bridge a celebration to remember.  The new 2-mile US Highway 90 bridge does more than re-connect Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian. It’s the first step in reconnecting the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast. The last annual average daily traffic report from 2005 shows 20,000 vehicles crossed the bridge, according to the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

“It’s hard to nail down a specific date for the opening ceremony until we get an exact date from MDOT,” said Tish Williams, executive director of the Hancock Chamber of Commerce.  The opening ceremony is anticipated for May 17th; however, state transportation officials will not confirm the date until two weeks leading into the opening date. “We’re still working on the details, but we want to inform everyone within a 500 mile radius that the Bay Bridge is back,” said Williams.

Businesses are invited to participate in a variety of ways including, event sponsorships, on-site activities, and participating cooperative advertising and publicity efforts by acting as a point of display and distribution for information about the bridge re-opening. “More than a half-million motorist per month have detoured this route for nearly two-years. This requires a sustaining campaign to educate the public,” said Williams.

Members of the press are encouraged to register with the Hancock Chamber to receive the latest information regarding the opening ceremony. To see the progress of the reconstruction of the Bay St. Louis Bridge, MDOT has set up a LIVE web cam at http://www.gomdot.com/BayStLouisBridge/live_camera.htm. To meet next month’s deadline more than 300 workers are working on the $270 million project to open 2 lanes of traffic by mid-May.

For more information or questions to participate, call (228) 467-9048 or visit www.hancockchamber.org.

More Information:

The U.S. 90 bridge over the Bay St. Louis, along with another key bridge over Biloxi's Back Bay, were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina August 29, 2005. The reopening of two lanes of the Biloxi bridge is expected to occur in mid November with the completion of that bridge in the spring of 2008.

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