- GOING NOWHERE -
BILOXI'S NEXT BRIDGE
MDOT'S Continuing Effort to Mislead Everyone
by Royce Hignight and Keith Burton
Filed 7/31/05 Updated 8/14/05 Updated 12/27/06
Everyone in Biloxi knows that the city is in desperate need for
improvements in traffic flow especially in the western portion of the
city and across the Back Bay to the north. This need was vividly
demonstrated by hurricane Katrina after Biloxi was cutoff from the
Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced that it
has stopped all plans to build a new East Harrison County Connector to
Biloxi from I-10. MDOT had insisted it was going to build a road from
the Woolmarket exit on I-10 but now, even that project is off the
"We're just in a holding pattern on the East Harrison County
connector due to the hurricane and many other issues that are pressing
us at this time," said MDOT's Wayne Brown in a
December 14, 2006 story in the Sun Herald newspaper. Brown also
told the newspaper that he doesn't have a solution to Biloxi's traffic
But if there was ever a time to build a new roadway, this is it.
And it is clear that MDOT's Wayne Brown has chosen to continue his
MDOT Shuffle and long
tradition of backpedaling on this needed roadway.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, MDOT was supposed to be moving forward on a plan to construct an elevated new north/south
connector for the city of Biloxi using plans to connect the road to
the Woolmarket exit on I-10. They would call this I-210 The road would cut through subdivisions and ruin
Biloxi's Hiller Park before exiting on Highway 90. But even that
project was opposed by some Biloxi City councilmen as being too
disruptive to the city, especially since it cut through established
neighborhoods and was elevated.
MDOT's Southern District Commissioner Wayne Brown told the Sun
Herald two years ago that:
"Any big civil road project with construction disrupts people's
lives," he said. "But about 98 percent of the people are satisfied"
with the proposal.
That comment was pure propaganda from MDOT. Apparently
Wayne Brown believes people in Biloxi have forgotten the broken
promises and misleading statements made by his agency over this road.
He must have also forgotten the overwhelming negative public response
to MDOT's previous proposals. The new I-10 Connector is a road that has been studied and
examined thoroughly, yet MDOT continues to ignore what the city truly
MDOT's plan promoted by some is not in the best interest of
the city of Biloxi, as this report will show. The best route is to
connect I-10 to the Biloxi peninsula through the Cedar Lake exit.
This is the route that numerous studies have shown to be best, and it is
much less costly.
The elevated bridge route proposed by MDOT's minions, and
some individuals with special interests in Biloxi, would disrupt
numerous subdivisions, create a huge city-dividing eyesore such as
what the I-110 link has accomplished, create a wasteland through the
heart of Biloxi on two sides of the city, both north of the Back bay
and in West Biloxi, and destroy Biloxi's Hiller Park.
Indeed, MDOT's latest proposal is a "Bridge to Nowhere"
as it is hugely expensive, harmful to the city and its residents, and
will more than likely never be built. As GCN and Royce
Hignight's articles have repeatedly pointed out for years, MDOT's plan is a
smokescreen for never building the bridge Biloxi needs and deserves.
There is a solution, as there has always been a solution,
and the only solution, which is the Rodenberg Bridge.
In the past, the Rodenberg route was opposed by Keesler, but there
are changes at the base, especially in light of the post-Katrina
housing demolitions at the base near the route of the Rodenberg
bridge. Other concerns expressed several years ago
by Keesler have largely been addressed. More on that later in this
Also, adding more traffic to the already overwhelmed Popps
Ferry and Pass Road interchange with a
bigger Popps Ferry bridge as proposed by Biloxi Mayor A.J.
Holloway before Katrina would increase traffic to Pass Road and is not a wise solution.
That issue was
thoroughly examined in previous studies and in a comprehensive city
planning guide as far back as 1996.
The earlier studies recommended that the city add a bridge at
to Cedar Lake.
This GCN Special Report will be your guide to a
traffic solution for Biloxi that will work. The Hyperlinks on the left
panel will take you directly to the different parts of this GCN
Special Report. Hyperlinks within the story, marked in blue text, will
take readers to additional information.