Merritt Island Causeway
State Road 520 from Orlando to Cocoa Beach
Sunday June 24, 2018
Before there was State Road 520 there was simply highway or SR 50 running from Orlando to US Highway 1 in Tituville. The addition of SR-520 from Bithlo to the center of Brevard County heading east to Cocoa Beach where it crosses Merritt Island, the Indian River and Banana River Lagoons made it possible to bring tourism and commerical traffic directly to the Space Coast of Florida.
When traversing thru Cocoa (not to be confused with Cocoa Beach) the highway's name changes to King Street in honor of Martin Luther King and then as it crosses the Indian River Lagoon and onto Merritt Island it changes to the Merritt Island Causeway. Most people contribute the growth in Merritt Island and Cocoa Beach to this route as it made a more direct link to beaches. Titusville did not benifit and may have been stunted by the reroute of Orlando traffic to the more popular and easily accessible Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island.
Being a third generation Floridian, Captain Richard's kinfolk on the west side of Orlando in a small town called Oakland seldom traveled to the beach, but when his parents married it became a regular passion for the military couple that based out of McCoy Airforce Base (presently the Orlando International Airport). When they settled in the 1960's in Merritt Island and had a their son, it was a natural for Richard to become a Charter Fishing Captain on Florida's east coast.
Crossing the natural saltwater lagoons SR 520 contributes to some of the problems of natural waterflow from both tides and wind. Years of growth and storm water runnoff from these roadways is finally taking its' toll on the environment and many believe the all roadways now need to be raised above the water and storm water needs to be redirected to filtration areas or water retention ponds inland of the lagoon system.
State Road 520 was once referred to as "Bloody 520" as motorist regularly were killed along this stretch from Orlando into Cocoa Beach, it's changed now.
Last modified: February 19 2017 14:14:51.
Published by: Captain Richard Bradley of Lagooner Fishing Guides©