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Environmental Assessment Public Meeting on Popps Ferry Bridge Expansion to be Held
Meeting is Not a Public Hearing, but to Gather Public Input

by Keith Burton - GCN   3/1/08

The City of Biloxi will hold a meeting Thursday, March 6, to gather public input regarding the city's plan to expand the Popps Ferry Bridge and road. The city says this meeting is the first phase of improving the Popp's Ferry Bridge and Popp's Ferry Road between Pass Road and the Margaret Sherry Library in the Sunkist community.

The city says no formal presentation will be made. Instead, the meeting will be an informal setting where residents will be able to individually examine maps, discuss issues with the design team and public leader, as well as provide comments on the "potential project."

City officials say the environmental assessment will take as long as 16 months and will evaluate the feasibility of expanding the existing roadway and bridge to accommodate existing traffic patterns. It is not a discussion over the long-needed North/South Corridor project.

The Popps Ferry Road area, especially around Pass Road and the bridge, is a major choke point for traffic moving through Biloxi. Traffic backs up all around Pass Road, frequently all the way to Keesler A.F.B. several miles to the east of Popps Ferry, and west along Pass Road to the Keesler Federal Credit Union headquarters. If a Mississippi Power coal barge passes under the bridge, which it does several times a day, traffic comes to a standstill. Popps Ferry Road, along with I-110 are the city's only access to north Biloxi and Interstate 10. The city of Biloxi should have more than one bridge across Back Bay connecting Biloxi to Biloxi, especially in an age where higher gasoline prices are certain. The I-110 bridge connects Biloxi to D'Iberville and not to the city directly.

GulfCoastNews.com is on record recommending the city build another bridge at Rodenberg Ave. to the Cedar Lake area. So far, there is no indication that the city is pursuing that route to ease Biloxi's serious traffic congestion problems. This problem existed for years, well before Katrina, and the new bridge to Ocean Springs is not among the city's solutions for its internal traffic congestion problems.

Thursday's meeting is at the Donal M. Snyder Sr. Community Center  at 2520 Pass Road in Biloxi, between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The city mailed notice cards to its residents last week to inform them of the meeting.

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