Transportation

Pearland Residents Have Questions About Proposed Mykawa Road Improvements

Commuters say the project is long overdue, but they’re asking TxDOT to take a second look at some of its plans.

Commuters into the Texas Medical Center often use Mykawa Road as an alternate to State Highway 288. But as the region’s population continues to grow, the aging road is struggling to keep up with the traffic.

The segment south of Beltway 8 only has one lane in each direction and it’s flanked by deep ditches. Pearland resident Corbett Freeman drives it all the time.

“Occasionally I’ve seen vehicles in the ditch,” Freeman told News 88.7. “Usually that’s very early morning or maybe it happens overnight, but I’ve seen a few situations like that, definitely.”

TxDOT is now gathering public comments on plans to upgrade Mykawa between Beltway 8 and FM 518. The three-mile segment would be widened to four lanes with a raised median. The project also includes drainage, landscaping and lighting, as well as a 10-foot shared use path on the west side of the road for pedestrians and cyclists.

Along with improving traffic flow for commuters, TxDOT spokesman Danny Perez said hurricane evacuation is also a major concern.

“You have a lot of folks that live not only just in Pearland, but south of Pearland and deep into Brazoria County,” said Perez. “They may be in an evacuation zone where they need to leave the area quickly. Having an additional route is very beneficial for those folks because there may be a situation where 288, I-45 are at capacity.”

While residents at a TxDOT public meeting said Mykawa was in desperate need of an upgrade there were concerns about certain aspects of the project, in particular plans for the raised median.

Paulisa Winsong lives on Mykawa and worries the median would make it difficult to make turns. She also told us she’s concerned about drainage along with the noise from increased traffic. Winsong said it’s already pretty loud right now.

“I’m waking up, oftentimes in the middle of the night by construction trucks coming through,” said Winsong. “My request to TxDOT is that they put in a sound barrier wall for the residents that are right on Mykawa so we’re not quite so impacted.”

TxDOT is partnering with the City of Pearland on the $40 million project. The federal government will pay 80%, with the rest coming from local funds.

The transportation agency is taking public comment on the Mykawa project through May 8. They hope to start construction in 2021.

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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