FAYETTEVILLE — Hundreds of people are expected to attend the grand opening of Fayetteville's new Airborne and Special Operations Museum, Wednesday. Parking could be a problem if you do not plan ahead.
World War II veterans from out of town are already anticipating the museum's opening.
"I'm excited, but I haven't seen the interior yet. I'll be more excited to see what's here," says Kelly Stumps, a World War II veteran visiting from California.
Stumps' hosts want to make sure his visit is fun and easy.
A good deal of planning has been going on to make sure everyone who wants to attend Wednesday will have a place to park.
"We encourage people to get an early start," says Sandy Klotz, Museum Foundation executive director. "There will be police and MP's directing traffic throughout the downtown area and getting people to parking that's available as close as possible."
The parking lot at the museum will not be open to the general public on its opening day. It will be strictly used for media and the handicapped.
Three of the four roads around the museum will be closed to traffic during the museum opening. Walter, Hillsboro and Hay Streets will all be off limits. One lane of Bragg Boulevard, heading south, will remain open.
Closer to the museum, the public can park in the old Department of Social Services parking lot on Maiden Lane or in a grassy area across from the museum on Hay Street.
With an estimated 5,000 guests expected to attend, those areas will fill up fast. That is where park and ride lots will help.
"It's going to be tight, but by keeping cars out of the congested area, traffic will flow much better," says Jerome Brown, city transit director.
Drivers can pick up a shuttle at Veterans Park on Lamon Street or in a lot across from Rowan Park on West Rowan Street.
The free shuttles will run every 10 minutes from 7 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The shuttle will not run during the ceremony.
The city outlined the plan so no businesses would be off limits. City hall and the police department are accessible by Franklin Street.