While homeowners await insurance settlements and building permits before they can start their reconstruction, the largest construction project in Bay St. Louis is moving ahead at full steam. The CSX railroad bridge that spans the Bay of St. Louis from here to Pass Christian is well ahead of schedule.
When MSNBC first visited the project in October, project manager Billy Baughman and his crew were laying 60-foot-long concrete beams across the piers Katrina left sticking out of the water.
"We just laid the last beam on Monday," Baughman said. "Now the center of activity is on the swing span."
The swing span is a section of bridge that literally swings open to allow boat traffic through; it needs to be repaired and completely rewired.
The original schedule was to get the first train across the bridge by Feb. 28, but Baughman estimates they're about three weeks ahead of that.
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