by Carrie & David Bartlett, Residents of Colonial Estates

I am writing to draw attention to a project the City of Gulfport has long promised, discussed, funded, defunded, reallocated, and mismanaged–the 2nd half of the Dedeaux Road widening and refinishing project.

On the City Council agenda this week is a discussion of a $50 million bond. Initially, $20 million was to be devoted to the completion of the decades long Dedeaux Road project, but there appears to be some difference of opinion once again on how and when to complete the project.

Apparently, Gulfport city leadership would like to depend on a “possible” grant to do the actual construction project (essentially kicking the can down the road once again). Depending on the grant process to “possibly” acquire the funds for the actual construction is not a wise decision and should be reconsidered. This project should receive the Gulfport City Council’s attention and the funding should be allocated and earmarked to acquire what is needed (a part of the project which should have happened long ago) and the construction should begin.

A personal story for your consideration, my husband recently had to have an emergency appendectomy at Garden Park. It didn’t go well. The recovery was painful, but we wanted to leave as soon as possible for my husband to complete his recovery at home.

Would you like to know what he said was the most painful part of the surgery and recovery? The trip home on the UNFINISHED part of Dedeaux Road between Garden Park and our neighborhood, Colonial Estates. You see, there is no dodging the shoddy repair projects the Gulfport City Council has repeatedly directed on the unfinished part of this major thoroughfare. Every single part of the unfinished section, the section whose widening and refinishing has been promised to Gulfport constituents repeatedly for decades, is ridiculously dangerous, all the way to Lorraine Road.

At this point, failure to make this project a priority and bring it to completion (or at the very least BEGIN the project), causes Gulfport citizens physical pain, economic hardship, and recognition that only certain citizens in Gulfport matter in its leaders’ decision-making processes.

I fully support my City Councilman’s efforts to bring representation to and fight for this part of Gulfport, but enough is enough. We love our city. We’ll patronize the Aquarium.

We’ll appreciate the strangely funded construction on Seaway Road, but the time has come to complete this project.