At a December meeting of the City of Diamondhead, the City Council and Mayor reviewed and approved three projects to be submitted for funding consideration to the Gulf Regional Planning Commission (GRPC) as transportation improvement projects (TAP). The proposed projects total $1,240,000. The city proposes that $992,000 be funded by TAP grants with a $248,000 required match from the City. Projects the city plans to submit to GRPC include a proposed multi-modal pathway on Noma Drive, sidewalks on Gulf Club Drive, and roadway widening on Aloha Drive.
The Noma Drive multi-modal pathway project would consist of a six foot asphalt/concrete multi-modal pathway from City Hall to the Sports field down the wood-line on Noma Drive. This proposal would enable the city to retain a future option to open up the boulevard lanes in the future, when traffic warrants the expansion. It would also provide funds to remove obstructions, driveway replacements, and improve drainage. The total cost for the project is estimated at $460,000. The proposal is to fund the project through a $368,000 TAP grant with a local city match of only $92,000.
Another TAP project under consideration is constructing sidewalks on east side of Golf Club from the North Entrance of the Country Club to Kapalama Drive along with crosswalks through the roundabout at the Water Tower. The total cost of the project is estimated at $500,000. The proposal is to fund the project through a $400,000 TAP grant with a local city match of only $100,000.
Another TAP project under consideration is widening the Aloha Drive Roadway from 8 to 10 feet and adding a six foot multi-modal pathway from Rouses Supermarket to Sheppard’s Square Medical Park. The total cost of the project is estimated at $280,000. The proposal is to fund the project through a $224,000 TAP grant with a local city match of only $56,000.
City Manager Clovis Reed also reported that on December 7th there was a Council of Governments meeting to discuss ways that the municipalities and the County could work together to identify projects that could be funded through the $700 million in BP settlement funds from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. The State is set to receive these funds over the next 15 years to offset economic losses from the oil spill. Local elected officials would like to see the majority of the funds spent in South Mississippi. Another area of discussion was the Tidelands funds. Each entity is developing a list of their top three priorities for projects to be presented at the next meeting on January 19th. One project that could make the list for Diamondhead is the consideration of constructing a frontage road along the interstate to encourage additional retail development. Currently, the City has another Tidelands application under consideration by the Legislature to provide funds to construct a road to the approved kayak launch and observatory deck and plans to open up Devil’s Elbow to support recreational boating with this latest Tidelands application.