If you drive in Pearland, you may have discovered a new cut-though connecting Cullen to Highway 288. The new McHard extension is now open, and it's helping drivers avoid traffic at Beltway 8.
You might think long-time Pearland resident Al Kohli wouldn't like a new four-lane road running through his quiet neighborhood, but he says he's glad there's a new way for him to get around town and into his community. "I moved out here 15 years ago, and we lived in the country then," he laughs. His neighborhood is now surrounded by more homes and shopping center, and it's put a pinch on traffic traveling toward the Beltway. The McHard extension has been open for less than a month, but he believes it's already helping ease traffic. "When they opened up the beltway, it was like pouring gasoline on a fire, and everything out here boomed, it was like traffic, traffic!"
The city of Pearland spent the last year extending McHard at Country Place Blvd., which created one continuous road connecting SH-288 to Cullen Blvd. The City put the project on the top of the to-do list to help relieve congestion on Cullen, which is also under construction. "Having the McHard extension completed so that there's a reliever over at SH-288 from Cullen became very important," Pearland Projects Director Trent Epperson explained. The McHard extension runs through a primarily residential area, so to cut down on traffic noise, the City is building a sound wall. Construction of the walls will be finished by March. Meantime, drivers are happy with the progress. "They have to do something because traffic out here is becoming a nightmare," Kohli said.