South Mississippi is on the path to better roads

Sidewalks, a grassy divider and landscaping are part of the Courthouse Road project.
Sidewalks, a grassy divider and landscaping are part of the Courthouse Road project.

By this time next year, Gulfport’s Courthouse Road will have a striking new look.

And so far, we like what we see. This commercial corridor is on its way to becoming something special.

It’s already lined with shops and restaurants but the road itself is showing its age.

The plan is to redo the road, landscape the sides and median, add decorative lighting, and best of all, build a 10-foot-wide path for pedestrians and bicyclists that will stretch from the beach to Pass Road. A pedestrian traffic signal at 33rd Street will help high school students get safely to school. And soon, they’ll have a beautiful new school as well.

The road project will cost $6 million, with 80 percent coming from the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the rest paid by the city from the proceeds of a bond issue.

The city won’t need to buy any rights of way or disturb any of the people who live and own businesses in the area. That’s always a plus for a road project.

In Biloxi, two projects will mean big improvements to Popp’s Ferry. At long last, one of the major north-south roads will go all the way to the beach. Work is expected to start next summer on the extension from Pass Road to U.S. 90.

At the other end of Popp’s Ferry, work is expected to start next year to realign the road between Belle Street and Galleria Parkway/D’Iberville Boulevard to help traffic flow near the proposed Gulf Coast Galleria shopping center in D’Iberville.

Two other roads, Hospital Road in Pascagoula and Airport Road in Gulfport, will be widened next year.

We’ve long said better roads are the missing ingredient in our tourism mix.

We’re happy to see we’re making progress.

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