The Sun Herald, 11/22/8

Officials with the Port of Gulfport hope to start work in December now that the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development has approved the state’s revised plan to restore the port.

Gov. Haley Barbour announced Friday that HUD had approved the plan and the Mississippi Development Authority has allocated $570 million to rebuild the port, damaged heavily by Hurricane Katrina.

The restoration includes elevating the port to 25 feet above sea level, which will help protect it against storm surges.

“Rebuilding the Port of Gulfport stronger than before is essential to not only the economy of the Gulf Coast but the entire state,” Barbour said in a statement. “Like the coastal community, HUD recognizes how much this restoration plan will boost each component of our storm recovery plan, including our efforts to ensure people have good jobs to complement the $4 billion we’ve allocated to housing recovery.”