CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - If you plan to watch Sunday's scheduled historic SpaceX launch of four crew members bound for the International Space Station, be ready to arrive early.
Competing for parking and that "perfect vantage spot" will be challenging. Brevard County officials are expecting up to half-a-million people to gather in parks and other areas to view the launch.
Titusville police, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, and the Florida Highway Patrol will be monitoring the roads and traffic flow in the area. They will also be enforcing "No Parking" areas.
The FHP says drivers should leave early to find a safe location to park. Drivers are not allowed to park on the shoulder of a limited access road such as Interstate 95 or State Road 528 (Beachline Expressway).
Once the launch is done, or if it is scrubbed, drivers should have an outbound exit plan. See options here.
High traffic volume is expected on SR 528, US-1 and A1A, before and after the event. Drivers may want to consider using SR 46, SR 520, SR 50, and U.S. Highway 192 as a westbound route, away from the coast, after the launch. In the past, these roads were underutilized by drivers, returning back to the center part of the state.
Drivers can use SR 520 towards SR 50 for the north end or Nova Road towards the south end.
SR 407 will be monitored after the launch for volume and may be shut down to prevent traffic from traveling westbound on the beachline, as this was one area that caused significant slow-downs, in previous launches.
SR-528 was where most of the slowdowns were seen, after the launch was scrubbed. The westbound change lanes at the toll booth on SR 528, near Dallas will be blocked off to prevent drivers from using those lanes as a passing zone.
Troopers and road rangers observed vehicles traveling through the toll booths, at a higher rate of speed to pass other stopped traffic in the travel lanes.
Driver can use 511 to get up-to-date information on traffic conditions. Call *347 if you need assistance or have a traffic problem.
Live special coverage on the crewed SpaceX launch begins at 5 p.m. on FOX 35.