A look ahead: Pearland in 2017

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Big steps in growing Pearland’s infrastructure and parks will be taken this year, city officials said.

“We have a lot going on in 2017,” Deputy City Manager Jon Branson said.

One of the biggest steps is one that isn’t necessarily obvious to residents: A $55 million expansion of the Reflection Bay Water Reclamation facility that will take capacity from 2 million gallons per day to 6 million.

“It serves a large portion of west Pearland,” Branson said.

Many projects are a continuation of response to the city’s rapid growth. Among most visible are expansions to the city’s parks.

Independence Park Phase 1 will include reorientation of the park’s entry, playground replacement and additions, lighting and electrical upgrades. Design work is nearly complete, and the project will go out to bid in March. It is set to be complete in May.

The design will also include a adequate restrooms and a small stage with an amphitheater for special events and landscaping.

Centennial Park Phase 2 includes two lighted softball fields, picnic pavilion and parking, and is expected to be complete in the fall. An adjacent Fite Road expansion project will provide direct access to the renovated park.

Completion and the opening of the long awaited Shadow Creek Sports Complex is expected this year as well.

City Hall is being expanded this year, and renovations to the Orange Street Service Center, which houses Public Works, Fire Station 1 and Parks Maintenance, are expected to begin in March.

One of the biggest issues reported by residents in Pearland is mobility. Within the city, priority projects include an extension of McHard Road, a widening of Mykawa, widening of Hughes Ranch Road into a four-lane boulevard, as well as Old Alvin and Max roads expansions.

Looking ahead, a planned expansion of State Highway 288 project will include four toll lanes in what is now the median, and will tie in with a planned expansion of FM 518.

“It will make a huge difference,” Branson said of the expansion of the oft congested FM 518. “When you look at Pearland, there’s not any one thing (for 2017); it’s a continuation of a number of projects that are going on. There is just a lot of activity.”

The fastest growing city in the Houston region, Pearland is also known for its diversity. Over the past year, the city continued to rapidly add citizens of all ages and backgrounds, City Manager Clay Pearson said.

“We’ve issued over 1,000 single-family permits and we’ve also seen a lot of private investments,” he said. “That is continuing this year.”

Story by Nicole Jones

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