/ Media Center / A tree canopy on Pearland’s Main Street? That’s what this project will provide

A tree canopy on Pearland’s Main Street? That’s what this project will provide

A yearlong project has begun to enhance a 2.5-mile stretch of Texas 35 from Broadway to Beltway 8.

Headed by the Pearland Economic Development Corp., the $6.4 million project on the road, also known as Main Street, aims to improve the area landscape to help encourage businesses to locate or remain in the rapidly growing community, EDC president Matt Buchanan said.

The Texas 35 project is part of Pearland’s 20/20 strategic plan to “optimize the development potential of Pearland’s principal commercial corridors,” according to the EDC.

“We want to encourage more development which means more investment and more jobs in this corridor,” Buchanan said.

Through a $21.7 million project five years ago, Texas 35 was expanded and upgraded to better serve business owners and customers along the roadway.

“The street was increased from four lanes to now six lanes with a median. Sidewalks were put in, along with storm sewers and lighting,” Buchanan said.

Once that work was completed, planners were able to focus on the current project.

“After that, we wanted to soften the corridor with some streetscape improvements to give it something to let people know when they’ve arrived,” he said. “By improving the infrastructure, you improve the sense of place,and the market appeal will be better.”

To that end, trees and foliage will play an important role in the project. Details include adding trees in the median to create a canopy, as well as adding smaller trees along the back of the sidewalks. Ornamental sidewalk railings will beautify the streetscape and encourage walking, as will improved pedestrian areas at major intersections.

Contracted to Landscape Art Inc., the work also includes new city markers, including four small Pearland signs at Texas 35’s intersection with Broadway and two larger Pearland signs at the north end of the road at the entrance to the city. Buchanan said similar signs have been erected at four other spots in the city, including on Kirby Drive, Dixie Farm Road, Cullen Boulevard and Pearland Parkway.

The work, which will take about a year to complete, is underway. Buchanan said traffic shouldn’t be impacted much because construction crews will take care to avoid closing lanes during peak traffic times, such as morning and afternoon rush hour.

Planned business park

Other activity is planned for that part of Texas 35. A planned business park on Rice Drier Road and Texas 35 is now in the design stages. Orr Commercial is developing the 18-acre site, which will include two light industrial warehouse flex buildings as well as lots for other businesses to take up residence. Energy Rental Solutions, a dealership for Caterpillar, has already committed to occupying 10 acres in the park.

Melissa Black, the EDC’s marketing director, said once plans are completed, the EDC will fund reconstruction of Rice Drier Road, though no final cost has been determined.

Buchanan said that planning an inviting appearance along roadway is important in the rapidly growing city.

“We’re a community that’s committed to high standards, and that’s what people want when they come here to work or live,” he said. “We know that the look and feel of a community is of the utmost importance.”

For more information about the Pearland 20/20 project, visit www.pearland2020.com.