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Pass Christian breaks ground on pedestrian walkway

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A crowd recently gathered in Pass Christian’s harbor to celebrate the groundbreaking for the first of four phases of Pass Christian’s portion of a Highway 90 boardwalk that will eventually span from the Bay Saint Louis bridge to the Ocean Springs bridge.

Pass Christian Mayor Jimmie Rafferty and other local officials were joined by other coastal mayors, as well as General Joe Spraggins from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources to break ground on the $2.5 million grant-funded walkway. The walkway will be made of cement and designed not only to withstand storms but also to keep sand off of Highway 90 during heavy storms. Once fully completed, the boardwalk will provide pedestrians, joggers and bicyclists with a safer means of traveling from one coastal city to another.

Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) of 2006 created a revenue-sharing model for oil- and gas-producing gulf states. Under the act, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas receive a portion of the revenue generated from oil and gas production offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. The act also directs a portion of revenue to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The Mississippi Legislature is tasked with appropriating those funds received by the state. In 2023, that total exceeded $100 million. The monies are to be used for coastal restoration projects that promote coastal conservation, restoration and hurricane protection. 

The $2.5 million grant, awarded in 2023, is expected to be the first of four grants provided to assist the City of Pass Christian with the West Breakwater Wall Hurricane Mitigation Improvements.

Offering his remarks by a recorded video, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said, “I’m excited to congratulate y’all on today’s groundbreaking. Mississippi’s Gulf Coast is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. From beaches and parks to rivers and waterways, the Coast is something our entire state can be proud of.”

“This pedestrian walkway is another great example of GOMESA funds at work,” continued Reeves. “That’s because this project is incredibly important to Pass Chrsitian and all of our coastal cities, which will be connected. Not only will it allow pedestrians and joggers and bicyclists to safely travel from city to city along our beaches, but it will also help to lessen the impact of future storms and keep sand off of Highway 90.”

“One thing is for certain, the Coast’s future is bright, and that means Mississippi’s future is bright,” concluded Reeves.