• Long Beach Breeze

The city of Long Beach receives $16.8M for Beatline Parkway Project

Four days after the November 15 passage of the Biden administration’s $1T infrastructure bill, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced that the City of Long Beach would receive $16.8M of those federal dollars for its Beatline Parkway Project.

Jenny Levens, the community affairs director for the City of Long Beach, says the receipt of funds marks the end of a years-long drought of federal funding for the project.

“We applied for a few years,” Levens said. “This year, the application was due in July, and that is the application [from which] we got notice that we received funds.”

The funds will make a massive infrastructure project possible for the coastal city, as the Beltline Parkway project aims to connect Highway 90 to Beatline Road with a five-lane roadway. The construction of the five-lane roadway will include the CSX railroad crossing and will stretch north of Canal Number One, thus completing a right-of-way acquisition to the Johnson Road intersection. Officials say that this new construction will provide needed safety benefits to the coastal community, as the Beatline Parkway will be the only four-lane evacuation route in West Harrison County for both the city of Long Beach and neighboring Pass Christian.

City officials say this will facilitate the City’s ability to get relief services in and out during weather disasters, particularly as the route would not be easily susceptible to the flooding that plagues other Long Beach roadways. The flooding issue would also be alleviated through the design of the Beatline Parkway, which is intended to remove dangerous and ineffective drainage ditches and replace them with more effective drainage options.

In addition to these improved flooding-prevention measures, the Beatline Parkway project is also slated to improve traffic conditions, as the plan includes modern traffic control systems intended to allow a greater flow of vehicles to pass through the area uninhibited, without any detriment to traveler safety. This improved flow would come primarily through the rerouting and straightening of the pair of ninety-degree turns that presently exist on the parkway, along with the addition of a number of intersection enhancements. Such enhancements would affect the I-10, Red Creek, 28th Street, Daugherty Road, Pineville, CSX Crossing, Railroad Street, 2nd Street, and Hwy-90 intersections. Despite this projected increase in traffic, current plans are hopeful that the residential area around CSX Crossing could still be considered a “quiet zone” for residents.

These improvements are also expected to affect foot traffic and bicyclists, as plans for the five-lane project call for including separate lanes for bikers and runners/walkers, which the City of Long Beach hopes will be appealing to both current Long Beach activity enthusiasts and those looking to relocate in an active community.

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