Harrison County

Lights out on Biloxi Bay Bridge cause concern

TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD 
 The sun rises behind one of the lights on the Biloxi Bay Bridge. Some of the lights on the Biloxi end of the bridge have been out.
TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD The sun rises behind one of the lights on the Biloxi Bay Bridge. Some of the lights on the Biloxi end of the bridge have been out.

Darkened street lights on the Biloxi Bay Bridge are on the Mississippi Department of Transportation's of things to fix -- they just aren't at the top of the list, officials said Monday.

Area residents and a Sound Off writer have complained of lights out on the Biloxi side of the bridge, calling the situation a safety issue.

MDOT spokesman Michael Flood said Monday issues from recent heavy rains and flooding have taken priority over bulb replacement projects.

"Due to the recent storms and flooding in this area, MDOT crews are focused on repairs to critical infrastructure projects including sand cleanup along U.S. 90 and flood damaged highways in the area," he said. "The lighting repairs on the Biloxi Bay Bridge will take place immediately following the completion of these projects."

Calls for increased safety measures came after woman was raped while walking on the bridge at night in November 2014.

The Gulf Coast chapter of Women Against Violence Everywhere organized a solidarity walk soon after the incident, and again in May 2015 to raise money for security cameras. A former Pascagoula attorney donated $8,000 to help the group meet its $10,000 goal, and the city of Ocean Springs is working on getting the cameras installed.

District Engineer Kelly Castleberry said there is not yet a set timeline to fix the lights.

"That's considered aesthetic lighting," he said. "The priority goes to fixing things like traffic signals."

He did not immediately have the exact number of lights that are out.

Flood said bulb replacement projects are completed on a routine basis by maintenance crews.

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