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Merry Christmas! Some construction relief coming for Pearland drivers

PEARLAND, Texas – A major construction project in Pearland is making progress and crews are set to give drivers an early Christmas gift.

Drivers in the Pearland area are all too familiar with the headache of construction.

“It’s horrible! Oh my god! I hate coming over here,” said Pearland resident Carolyn Johnson. “It’s so congested. It’s like you’re in line 30 minutes to get a quarter of a mile or whatever. It is bad!”

For months, it’s been a headache for people like Johnson and Lyft driver Elijah Rocha.

“Last time, I ended up canceling two rides because of the fact that it ended up causing a delay,” said Rocha. “If they’re widening up, of course, it’s gonna help, but right now, it’s not helping the situation."

Since June, crews have taken over FM 518, or Broadway, from Business Center Drive to Smith Ranch Road, which includes the State Highway 288 intersection.

“We’ve had to keep just two lanes in each direction, which is bottlenecking a little right here,” said Brazoria County Engineer Matt Hanks.

The construction is near the Pearland Town Center -- an area packed with shopping and restaurants. The area is already crowded, and more so during the holidays.

"I’m sure whatever they’re doing will be good for the outcome, but it’s just always bad timing for construction,” said Pearland resident Donita Harrington.

Hanks said the work on FM 518 was necessary for the widening of State Highway 288.

“Anytime you have construction, it’s always hard and we realize it’s really hard and we hate that it’s taking as long as it’s taken,” said Hanks.

Luckily for Harrington and other residents, crews were able to open three lanes in each direction on FM 518 and 288.

“I am saying, ‘Merry Christmas,’” said Hanks.

In the end, Broadway will be four lanes in each direction with additional turning lanes and they’re set to be done in late January.