Museum pre-Katrina (Wikipedia)
Hurricane Katrina’s 30-foot tidal surge destroyed Biloxi’s Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum on August 29, 2005. The cupola was a distinctive architectural feature on the top of the old Coast Guard station that housed the museum on Point Cadet in Biloxi, Mississippi.
In the years since, whenever our destination has taken us over the new Biloxi-Ocean Springs Bridge, that cupola, resting not far from the empty site once occupied by the museum, has stirred my hopes for continued Mississippi Gulf Coast recovery.
Construction began early this year on a new home for the museum at its pre-Katrina site on Point Cadet. Construction is progressing at the same time for a public park on the surrounding grounds and the adjacent area formerly referred to as Point Cadet Plaza.
Museum site now (Walter Skupien)
The surge that swept the museum away also destroyed the bridge that spanned Biloxi Bay and connected Biloxi with our town, Ocean Springs. Our mayor fought for the bridge design to offer more than an industrial multi-lane raceway.
An attractive divider separates a wide pedestrian-cyclist lane from vehicle traffic. The art that adorns the bridge and the people-friendly pathway has made the bridge an integral part of community life since the first traffic lanes opened in November 2007.
More than five years later, it is still the “new” bridge. Hopefully, another hurricane won’t require another “new” bridge to take its place.
View from Biloxi side of new bridge (Walter Skupien)