Mounds of dark gravel dot the last 15.1-mile stretch of State Highway 4 that leads to the Gulf of Mexico, awaiting construction crews for a needed facelift. The road repairs will run from the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint to the eastern end of the roadway, which abuts Boca Chica Beach in Cameron County. The repairs, while long in the works, are significant because this is the main — in fact, the only — thoroughfare to the much anticipated SpaceX launch site. And a site visit last week by the Valley Morning Star revealed that to the west, just before the highway ends at the Gulf and on land that SpaceX owns, yellow-plastic “Caution” tape traces a rectangular tract of land.
It is here, on these key parcels of sand, that SpaceX intends to house several of its South Texas facilities — including the launch pad, water tower and security guard buildings. Signage is a key indicator that the infrastructure in the area is about to get some serious attention. Two signs announce that Clark Construction, of San Antonio, is the contractor on the road work that is planned. And temporary signs, already in place but turned away from traffic, soon will warn motorists of loose gravel. Two power company trucks were in the area, as well, where the space exploration firm intends to develop the world’s first commercial vertical launch complex designed specifically for orbital missions.
The recent activity both at and around the project site comes as SpaceX continues to purchase land under the name Dogleg Park LLC. Two more lots were purchased recently, bringing the land SpaceX now owns in Cameron County to more than 100 acres. The company is in the process of replatting some of the property.
Public notices in plastic bags to protect them from the elements were hanging from a wooden stake on SpaceX land, and a few miles up Highway 4, on a vacant building, advising of the replatting plans.