Oops, Turns Out New Street Lights in Gulfport Not "It"
by Keith Burton - GCN 11/16/07
Perhaps GCN spoke too soon on the "decorative" street light that appeared earlier this week on U.S. 90 in Gulfport near the Cowan Road intersection. The light was removed Friday afternoon from its base and loaded into a city truck. GCN photographed the light in the bed of the truck Friday afternoon.
Apparently, Gulfport is still working on a final look for its lights as WLOX reports that the light was a "prototype," according to someone with the city.
(GCN photo left: Light fixture that was removed.)
Still, the street lights along the beach highway will eventually be installed. Electrical contractors are busy stringing underground power to where the lights will go and building concrete footings for the poles.
Motorists driving along the highway now may see some different lights appear until a version that is not a prototype is established to decorate the highway.
Gulfport's stretch of U.S. 90 has been dark since Katrina. Biloxi restored many of its lights along the roadway shortly after the hurricane. Residents felt the lights at that time restored a limited sense of normalcy as the normally, brightly-lit highway in the city was depressingly dark after the storm. Even now, more than two years after Katrina, many Coast residents do not like to frequent the beach highway as it reminds people of how much the Coast lost and what has yet to happen regarding the recovery.
Still, Gulfport seems to be making progress. Whatever the new lights will look like, the sample that was removed is an indication of where Mayor Brent Warr is headed in his effort to give his city a different look. Biloxi used the cobra-style lights that were up prior to the hurricane. A section of lights between Rodenberg Ave. and Beauvoir Road, which also has been dark since the storm, is expected to be lit by the end of this month.
The work on the lights, which began in August, 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.