BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) The Army Corps of Engineers expects to begin work to rebuild the sea wall along Beach Boulevard in November.
The $17.1 million project is expected to be completed in spring, 2012, The Sun Herald reported.
Lisa Coghlan, a spokeswomen of the corps’ office in Mobile, Ala., said little disruption in tourism is expected.
Bids on the project were awarded last January, but a protest was filed and delayed the process.
Mayor Les Fillingame said the corps will stage its equipment near the foot of the U.S. 90 bridge and build a berm or roadway along the seawall for the heavy equipment to work from.
“The convoys of trucks with the heavy fill won’t be using Beach Boulevard,” Fillingame said. “Other than seeing them and hearing them, they won’t block traffic at all.”
The new concrete seawall will match the height of Beach Boulevard, and a 150-ft.-wide beach will be built on the Mississippi Sound side.
The corps will haul in sand to create the beach, and several hundred thousand cubic yards to fill behind the seawall.
“It’s going to be a huge construction project,” Fillingame said.
The old seawall, built before World War II wasn’t built high enough in that 1.5-mi. section of Bay St. Louis.
“It ran the full 12 miles of Hancock County waterfront, but the highest it got was 8 feet,” Fillingame said. “So the downtown area has been washed away several times.”
The new seawall will follow more closely the contour of the land, he said. At the foot of Main Street it will be 24 ft. high.
The project is part of the Mississippi Coastal Improvement program the corps has been drafting since Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005, Fillingame said.
“We feel it will offer the kind of permanent protection the beachfront has never had, especially in the downtown area,” he said.
“It’s way overdue. We’ve lost businesses and homes along Beach Boulevard.”
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