Editorials

Popp’s Ferry puts Biloxi on the road to progress

This overlay shows the route for the Popp’s Ferry Road extension that will take near the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
This overlay shows the route for the Popp’s Ferry Road extension that will take near the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.

It will be less than a mile long, but the Popp’s Ferry extension will make a world of difference in the neighborhood around the Coast Coliseum and Convention Center in Biloxi.

Connecting Popp’s Ferry Road, which begins in D’Iberville, with U.S. 90 has been a dream for decades. The Federal Highway Administration earlier this month found “no significant impact” on the environment at the proposed route, which is about 40 percent wetlands.

That cleared the way for surveying. About a year from now, the Mississippi Department of Transportation should have a road design in hand. The city of Biloxi hopes to be ready to seek bids in March 2018.

Anyone who has crept out of a Coliseum event in a seemingly endless string of traffic will be thrilled to see a new way out. The road could be open as early as mid-2019.

This should bring more development to the area. It definitely will make it more enticing to conventions. And there is plenty of room for stores, hotels and other development.

It also should give new life to empty buildings near the Popp’s Ferry–Pass Road intersection.

“My philosophy is build roads and development will follow,” Monte Luffey, a principal with Southeast Commercial of Mississippi, the listing agent for a 36-acre site along the route, told the Sun Herald’s Mary Perez. “I think, long term, it’s a great site.”

Pretty soon, it will be even better.

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.

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