This post was in response to several news articles about the status of the at-the-time proposed replacement of the US 90 Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridge (destroyed by Hurricane Katrina).  This was posted on January 26, 2006.

US 90 bridge woes continue for MDOT

Several articles lately in the SunHerald about the ongoing debate and occasional argument about the proposed Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridge on US 90. The Coast Guard has pretty much put the project on hold now until MDOT can address concerns both from them and from industries along the "Seaway" (the Harrison County Industrial Canal) and along the Back Bay of Biloxi. The concern is that the 85-foot-clearance fixed span proposed by MDOT will limit industrial development. Two companies in particular that have spoken out against the fixed span are Trinity Yachts, a yacht builder who is bidding on a "megayacht" which will require roughly 110 feet of clearance, and Northrup Grumman, who will be building masts and other ship parts for the future DD(X) program of Navy ships. Both companies, as well as several other companies and officials, want a drawbridge included. MDOT has said in reply that redesigning their proposal to include a drawbridge will add $70-80 million to the cost and add a year of delay.

Yours truly got into it today: .  Have already received an E-mail from the vice president of Trinity Yachts explaining their position. I'll have some comments up on my blog this evening.

As if that wasn't enough, earlier this week when MDOT *DID* open up bids for both the Bay St. Louis and Biloxi-Ocean Springs bridges, they only found 3 bids, with two of those from the same company (one for each bridge), and all three well above their cost estimate of $200 million for each bridge. After some debate, MDOT awarded a $266.8 million contract to Granite Archer Western for the Bay St. Louis span. Completion is scheduled for November, 2007.

Stay tuned...

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