OCEAN SPRINGS -- A 260-foot section of the popular Front Beach boardwalk that failed in May would best be rebuilt attached to the seawall along Front Beach Drive, an engineering firm suggested.
At Tuesday night's Board of Aldermen meeting, city leaders decided to proceed with a preliminary plan to do that to stabilize it.
The section caved in earlier this year after wave action ate away its beach protection and then undermined it. Jackson County crews removed the slabs of broken cement and filled the area of boardwalk with sand until the city could decide what to do next.
The county also rebuilt the beach in front of the structure, though it is expected to erode again by the end of the year.
Seawall tie-in suggested
County Supervisor Troy Ross said the county recommended the vulnerable stretch be tied in to the 1929 seawall.
Mayor Connie Moran said Tuesday that BMA Engineering of Gulfport made a similar recommendation.
The plan would be to take off the rounded cap of the seawall, leaving the steel, then reroute the boardwalk to the seawall and tie it in to that steel. The last step would be to re-pour the whole thing into one piece. The cost would be less than $50,000 and will be paid for with state Tidelands money.
The 2-year-old boardwalk is the centerpiece of a $2.2 million Katrina-recovery project. It is 10 feet wide and winds for 1.2 miles along Front Beach.
But the logistics of keeping it protected from erosion have become clear, especially in spots where wave action is relentless and erosion is swift.
Ice cream trucks
Aldermen also took up the idea of trying to legalize ice cream trucks in the city.
The board was split on the risks and annoyances versus the benefits.
Even though Matt McDonnell said, "Personally, I think it's ridiculous we can't find some way to allow ice cream trucks . It's a simple solution," the more they talked, the more complex the issue became. Among the issues noted were liability, health and taxes.