Thanks for all the comments and support, and many thanks to the site's staff for the Special Interest recognition this month--I'm really quite flattered, especially to be in the company of some of the other MDs that have been in here, and are currently in here.
Back with another update. We're back to Argentum again to look at various inadequacies in the regional transportation system, and in the next few updates, I'll be showing some solutions to these issues.
You may be wondering, what is the issue with Argentum's transportation system? Well, it turns out those "drunk engineers" who built the now-infamous Caldera Lane/Barnaby Drive interchange
had their hand in many other projects in the region.
This includes almost all of Argentum's highway system. Here's a couple of zoomed out maps extracted from the larger transportation map to illustrate my point (I've upsized the route markers to compensate.)
If you notice the scale, you'll see that the highways curve around a lot over very short distances, following an indirect path. They probably look like they're going through some sort of mountainous or hilly area. The problem is, they're not :
And here's 61 just north of Angstrom (the light blue area)
And here it is north of Argentum
The land is almost flat below the highways and the twisting around is completely unnecessary. When they were built, it was not anticipated that they would receive much traffic, or that Argentum proper would grow to 65-70,000 people--they were mainly quick-and-dirty retrofits of existing 2-lane alignments. The only way to improve the highways here is a series of costly re-alignment projects, where entire freeways will be re-routed through the region and at least one new route will be built. (In addition, Argentum is actually a fairly old region for me, started before I really knew much about the game's scale.)
This here is the start of work just north of downtown Argentum, an area soon to be home to a massive new hotel and convention center. To the left, you'll see Highway 4, a model of inadequacy, with its cramped lanes and its awkward interchange with Stone Avenue.
As you can see, the construction crews are already there, beginning work on widening and rehabilitating the highway and the interchange. All of the development next to the highway will have to be removed in order to accomodate the right-of-way for the interchange.
The new hotel nearly done.
Not only are Argentum's highways poorly constructed, its surface arterials are as well. Here's a couple of other sections of Caldera Lane, which is supposed to be one of the city's major north-south routes.
This is on the north side of town at the intersection with Costa Drive, by the end of Caldera Lane. The slope is extremely steep, making it difficult to travel at the posted 45mph (roughly 70 km/h for you metric folks) speed limit.
And this is near the now-demolished Barnaby Drive interchange on the south side of town, with the intersections of Milpont Road and Airport Road. The road's descent down to the remaining part of the bridge over the inlet is built like a staircase. In addition, the Milpont and Airport Road intersections are a mere 200 feet apart, which is a serious issue. The speed limit drops accordingly to 30mph (about 50 km/h), rather low for a road that's supposed to be a "bypass". The fire department's landing strip is also located here, but is no longer in use, as it is barely adequate enough for a model plane to take off or land.
Caldera Lane will be getting increased traffic as an important alternate route during the Highway 61 renovation, and thus, the Argentum Department of Public Works, along with county and state officials (all with new engineering staff ), have decided to accelerate the Caldera Lane bypass project.
You'll be seeing much more of the Caldera Lane project in the next couple of updates. There's plenty of construction pics to come.
And one other little teaser:
Not only is the fire department's airstrip inadequate, the Argentum Airport is as well, and both are soon to be relocated to a new, state-of-the-art facility, located 4 miles northeast of downtown Argentum, in the Ferrum area, which was chosen because it was an adequate distance away from the two large lakes (Emerson Lake and Mineral Lake), and was the flattest large parcel available. A new highway will be built to help accomodate traffic going to and from the airport.
Here's the start of construction, just south of Landry Road.