Brazoria County breaks ground of Brazoria County Expressway portion of 288 improvements from Pearland area to downtown Houston, Texas Medical Center
Brazoria County broke ground today, June 6, at the Brazoria County Expressway Groundbreaking Ceremony, which will begin a series of improvements in the corridor in the City of Pearland.
The event symbolized the beginning of construction work for the $97 million toll project. The Brazoria County Expressway will be the first toll road for the Brazoria County Toll Road Authority and is part of a large initiative to help relieve traffic and congestion along the SH 288 corridor. The City of Pearland has been working with the County for many years to advocate for the development of the Expressway to ease congestion in the SH 288 corridor to improve mobility for the City's residents. The expressway includes a five mile 4-lane toll road down the median of SH 288 from Clear Creek located just north of McHard Road to County Road 58 which is south of Bailey Road.
The Brazoria County Expressway will connect with the Texas Department of Transportation’s SH 288 Toll Lanes Project in Harris County extending access from north of the Clear Creek to the Texas Medical Center and downtown Housotn and includes 8 direct connector ramps to the Sam Houston Tollway and two to the Texas Medical Center. This project began in late 2016 and is expected to be complete at the same time as the Brazoria County Expressway in mid-2019.
A separate project that will be done in conjunction with the Expressway is the reconstruction of the FM 518 intersection that will include new main lane bridges on SH 288, widening of FM 518 from Smith Ranch Road to Business Center Drive to 10 lanes and widening and relocation of the access ramps. This project will provide needed relief at FM 518 as it approaches the SH 288 intersection.
The City and the County worked together on this separate project to ensure the new Expressway Bridge crossing over FM 518 wasn't built in a configuration that would prevent or increase the cost of the needed expansion of FM 518. This will ensure construction of the interchange is complete at the same time as the Expressway and not in multiple future projects that would each cause disruption at the intersection.
In addition to the SH 288 and FM 518 work, the City, through the Pearland Economic Development Corporation (PEDC) is partnering with Brazoria County and Pearland Municipal Management District #2 to add a variety of beautification enhancements along the SH 288 corridor in the City of Pearland, which will be completed after the Expressway is built. The SH 288 corridor is vital to the City's economy and its appearance is important to the Pearland community's long term sustainability.
The PEDC is funding all beautification improvements to the corridor in the City limits. The SH 288 Corridor Master Improvements Beautification Plan was adopted by the City, PEDC and the Pearland Municipal Management District #2 and includes entryway signage, landscaping, fountains, lighting, sidewalks, brick pavers, decorative traffic lights and other enhancements.