Drivers in Pearland can now travel from Cullen Parkway to Mykawa Road via an extension of a 3.5-mile stretch of McHard Road.

Prior to the road extension project, which began construction in June 2020, McHard Road ended at Stone Road on the western point and did not pick up again until Mykawa Road.

While the project requires an inspection before it can be considered officially completed, drivers have been able to drive on it since early April, according to city staff.

Senior Project Manager Jennifer Lee said the project would likely be officially completed by early June after the city’s public management and public works departments complete all the required inspections.

The project is part of the city’s thoroughfare plan to alleviate traffic on FM 518 by providing an alternative route between Hwy. 288 and Hwy. 35.

The extension will have a significant impact on mobility for drivers in Pearland as the new road will run parallel and provide an alternative corridor to FM 518, otherwise known as Broadway Street, which is Pearland’s most congested roadway, Lee said. Lee also said drivers entering the road from Pearland Parkway can take the road through the entire city up to FM 521.

The project included building four lanes with a concrete curb and gutter, raised medians, and underground drainage. As part of the construction, the city added storm sewers, outfalls and detention; five traffic signals at secondary thoroughfares and major collectors; sidewalks; street lighting; and landscaping.

Coordinated in tandem with the McHard trunk sewer extension and the McHard Road water line extension, the project added 38,000 fiber-optic cables to run from Country Place Parkway to Hwy. 35.

According to Lee, the total budget for construction was $29.7 million. For the project, the city participated in a Transportation Improvement Program with the federal government, in which the federal government covers 80% of the budget with the city paying the remaining 20%, Lee said.