Florida State Road 3

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State Road 3 marker

State Road 3
Route information
Maintained by FDOT
Length: 9.755 mi[1] (15.699 km)
Existed: 1945 renumbering (definition) – present
Major junctions
South end: SR 520 in Merritt Island
North end: Kennedy Space Center
Location
Counties: Brevard
Highway system
SR 2 I-4
FLSR3.JPG

State Road 3 (SR 3), also known as North Courtenay Parkway, is a north–south road located entirely on Merritt Island, serving as the southern access for the Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Florida. The shortest of the one-digit Florida State Roads, its southern terminus is an intersection with SR 520 on Merritt Island, east of Cocoa.

Route Description[edit]

SR 3, also knowns as North Courtenay Parkway for its entire length, heads straight north from its southern terminus at SR 520, just east of the W Merritt Island Causeway spanning the Indian River, and initially travels through a heavily populated residential area. After passing four schools in the first mile of its trek north, the road parallels the eastern shore of the Indian River for most of its distance towards Kennedy Space Center.

Just over 3 miles north of its southern terminus, SR 3 crosses SR 528 where SR 528 is concurrent with SR A1A, and continues north, until making a sharp north-easterly turn at North Tropical Trail, then terminates and continues as just County Road 3 and Kennedy Parkway North just north of Dalbora Road.[2]

The Florida Department of Transportation annual average daily traffic (AADT) numbers for 2012 show an average of 26,000 vehicles just north of SR 520, increasing to 29,000 just south of SR 528/SR A1A, then decreasing to 25,500 just north of its crossing with those two roads, and further decreasing to 21,500, finally halfing to 12,600 as the road approaches the turn to the north-east and its northern terminus.[3][4]

History[edit]

Not one inch of the original alignment of SR 3 is in the current route. Until the opening of the Emory L. Bennett Causeway in the 1960s, the route to KSC was signed SR A1A as A1A was routed across the Banana River on the Merritt Island Causeway (SR 520) - and was, in fact, cosigned with SR 520 - and then northward along North Tropical Trail through Kennedy Space Center to an intersection with the former SR 402 (now County Road 402) near the shore of Mosquito Lagoon in the (present-day) Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville.

In the meantime, SR 3 extended along the length of Tropical Trail from US 1 near Oak Hill to the southern tip of Merritt Island, where it crosses the Banana River on the Mathers Bridge (a swing span drawbridge) before turning south on South Patrick Drive (present day SR 513) and crossing the Indian River back to the mainland on the Eau Gallie Causeway (present day SR 518) and terminating at U.S. Route 1 (SR 5) in Melbourne. Between then-SR 402 and SR 520, SR 3 was cosigned with SR A1A.

The openings of the Emory L. Bennett Causeway and the Pineda Causeway (in 1971) triggered a massive transformation of SR 3. The former causeway shifted SR A1A to the north (to the newly extended Bee Line Expressway) as SR 3 was realigned to cover North Courtenay Parkway and provide the access to the Kennedy Space Center (the segment north of KSC lost its SR 3 and A1A signs); the latter causeway prompted the establishment of South Patrick Drive as the primary southern access to Patrick Air Force Base as SR 513.

In 1976, the Florida Department of Transportation added a "C-" prefix to the signs on the stretch south of SR 520 and started the transition from State Road 3 to County Road 3 -- yet a handful of "State Road C-3" signs are still posted on Tropical Trail near the southern tip of Merritt Island.

Courtenay Parkway eventually was extended past the SR 520 beyond the Merritt Island Airport to the historic community of Georgiana, where it meets up with the older South Tropical Trail, however this is a county facility and does not carry the state road designation. The last phase was completed in the late 1980s.

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in Merritt Island, Brevard County.

Mile[1] km Destinations Notes
0.000 0.000 SR 520 – Cocoa, Cocoa Beach Southern terminus
3.354 5.398 SR 528 / SR A1A – Cape Canaveral, Port Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Orlando, Cocoa, Titusville SR 528 exit 49
3.52 5.66 Christa McAuliffe Bridge over Canaveral Barge Canal
9.755 15.699 Kennedy Space Center Northern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing