Temporary road closures for SpaceX testing announced

Crews work around SpaceX's experimental prototype Starhopper rocket at the company's launch facility Tuesday morning. The company plans to conduct another round of testing starting on Friday, Aug. 9. (Denise Cathey/ The Brownsville Herald)

Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. has announced the temporary road closing of Highway 4 and Boca Chica Beach for additional test launch activities to be conducted by SpaceX.

A portion of Highway 4 near the entrance of Boca Chica Beach will be closed for one hour from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Oct. 30. Boca Chica Beach will remain open during the road closure.

“I have ordered the temporary closure of a portion of Highway 4 for the purpose of protecting Public Health and Safety during SpaceX testing activities,” Trevino stated in a press release. “Boca Chica Beach will remain open during this road closure.”

Authorities will ensure that no vehicles have access to the closed area during the testing activities. People with proof of residence will be allowed access to their homes.

Trevino said in case of an emergency, the necessary medical and law enforcement personnel will be allowed to circumvent the road closure and make their to the beach should their services be needed.

Highway 4 and Boca Chica Beach will be temporarily closed from noon to 8 p.m., on Nov. 7 during SpaceX testing activities. Alternative closing dates will be Nov. 8, between noon and 8 p.m., and from noon to 8 p.m. on Nov. 12, should the Nov. 7 date not be utilized.

“Should SpaceX not complete its test launch activities on November 7, 2019, then SpaceX may use the alternate date to complete its test launch activities,” Trevino said.

The county judge stated SpaceX and law enforcement authorities will be coordinating to ensure that no individuals or vehicles will be allowed access to the area during the testing activities. SpaceX will establish a safety zone perimeter that will include two temporary checkpoints on Highway 4.

Residents living in the area between the two checkpoints will need to show proof of residence in order to receive access to their homes through the soft checkpoint. Access beyond the hard checkpoint to the beach will not be allowed during the testing.

Trevino states Boca Chica Beach will be closed to the public to during the test launch activities and people wishing to visit a beach may do so on South Padre Island at County Parks that include Cameron County Beach Access No. 3, Cameron County Beach Access No. 4, Cameron County Beach Access No. 4 (West) or Cameron County Beach Access No. 5 (West.)

lmartinez@brownsvilleherald.com