The Grand didn’t fare so well in Hurricane Katrina: it was swept from its moorings and deposited across Highway 90.
Today, I was emailed a series of photos of its implosion:
Why the implosion? Read on…
From the Sun-Herald:
It took only a few seconds to undo what took months to put together.
With a series of loud bangs and a cloud of dust, Grand Casino Gulfport’s entertainment barge pancaked down Wednesday to a fraction of its original size to make its removal from U.S. 90 more manageable.
Explosives & Diving Services of Clarksville, Fla., handled the implosion work and Tony Parnell Construction of Vancleave will cut and remove the remains of the 160- by 110-foot barge.
The project is being supervised by the Mississippi Department of Transportation because the barge fit its description of a highway obstruction. They will pay the contract on a cost-plus basis, but there is no word on whether MDOT will be reimbursed for the project.
To ensure that the next hurricane to strike the Coast doesn’t dump its casinos across Highway 90, Harrison County authorities want casinos to be rebuilt on land:
The Harrison County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday asking the Legislature to amend state law and allow casinos to move ashore within 1,500 feet of their current locations.
Specifically, they endorsed putting casinos within 1,500 feet from the mean high tide line of the Bay of Biloxi, the Mississippi Sound and the Bay of St. Louis. Casino companies would have to contiguously own the property from the water except for highway easements and other public rights of way.
The measure would be limited to only those possessing a valid gaming license as of Oct. 1 – two days after the next scheduled meeting of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. The tight window would allow partially permitted casino projects, such as Bacaran Bay and Havana Casino, to complete their application processes.
I predict that casinos will, in fact, be built on land, though Atlantic City-style zoning requirements will prevent them from spreading throughout the area.