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Chemeketa: A Look Around

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Hi everyone-

Tarkusian Cities is back in business here in the Simtropolis CJ section after a hiatus--it's good to be back, and I hope you all enjoy it! I've also migrated a few update that hadn't made it over here yet from the SC4D version as well, which you can find in the table of contents (entries 061-068.

This update is a little bit different than the usual Tarkusian Cities fare. . . we'll mostly be taking a look around various parts of the City of Chemeketa, my most recent region. For those of you who followed Tarkusian Cities previously, the old transportation authority known as TDOT, which figured prominently in many updates, has been replaced by ORDOT.

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You may notice the full name is "Oregon Republic Department of Transportation" . . . well, in the alternate universe that Chemeketa exists in, it's part of a larger alternate universe Oregon that is its own country. The alternate universe "Republic" actually consists of all of the area originally contained in the Oregon Territory as it was defined in 1848, consisting of all of the modern US state of Oregon, plus all of Washington and Idaho, and pieces of Montana and Wyoming. Additionally, the republic gradually acquired (through peaceful means) all of what we know as California and Nevada north of 39'N by the mid-1850s--perfect timing when the Comstock Lode was found, which was a particular boon to the nation's early economy and international stature. The republic consists of 8 states: Olympus, Willamette, Columbia, Wasco, Kootenai, Bonneville, Siskiyou and Lahontan.

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Chemeketa, as you might guess, is located in Willamette state. Here it is roughly pinpointed:

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Now for that tour I promised . . . and first, here's a larger map of Chemeketa . . . this still isn't the full region, and I've still got a lot of roads to name, but it covers pretty much all of Chemeketa proper, as well as the nearby smaller cities of Vivien Heights (named after our good friend and 1000th poster Earth quake) and Windsor, as well as parts of unincorporated Marion County.

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A night shot of downtown

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Work is already beginning on a rebuild of the Hebo Highway (currently Highway 36) through downtown, facing west. The interchange at the bottom is with Division Street--that's the southern terminus of Highway 219 there, which goes all the way up to Hillsboro, some 45 miles away.

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South Chemeketa's Radio Hill neighborhood--this is at Halvorson Road SE and 35th Street SE, looking south.

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The smaller industrial area immediately east of downtown--this is at 5th Avenue NE and McCabe Street, just north of the interchange with the highway.

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This is in the heart of the larger industrial area that is located southwest of the Highway 15/36 interchange, right along Sorenson Street SE, facing north.

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The interchange with Highway 36 and Sorenson Street, facing west. Sorenson Street is a major north-south arterial through town, but much like this interchange, it's wildly substandard in most parts and in need of major improvement, as you'll soon see.

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A much less substandard interchange--this is where Highway 36 connects Downtown Chemeketa up with Highway 15, the West Oregon Freeway, looking north. Highway 15 is basically the "alternate universe Oregon" equivalent of the real world Interstate 5 (15 even kinda looks like "I5"), and essentially the lifeblood for Willamette, Olympus, and Siskiyou Provinces, connecting them into British Columbia and the Republic of California. The interchange is still getting a little tweaking from ORDOT, though.

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This is along Halpert Road NE facing west, near East Chemeketa High School, home of the fightin' Albacore! (Odd mascot, I know). Halpert Road is a major arterial east of Highway 15 and serves as a sort of "main drag" for East Chemeketa.

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Here we are along Highway 15 again (facing north), at the fast-growing high-tech industrial area in the northeast part of Chemeketa. The overpass you see is 64th Avenue NE.

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This is at 52nd Avenue NE and Halpert (facing north), a major intersection in this part of town, right in the heart of the high-tech area. There's also a small commercial "strip" of sorts along 52nd, largely catering to the tech crowd.

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The curve along Halpert Road (facing east)--you may recognize this image . . . it's one of the two used on the NWM upload. (The other one with the MAVE-4 and the Street, in case you're wondering, is along Ashcroft Street, also in Chemeketa.)

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Here's what Sorenson Street looks like in this part of town (facing north), as it crosses the fittingly named Sorenson Creek (which isn't yet shown on the map).

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Here's 52nd crossing Sorenson Creek (facing west). 52nd between Ashcroft and Highway 15 is an example of the City of Chemeketa's so-called "Surfways"--a portmanteau of "surface" and "expressway", schemed up by a planner with a penchant for silly puns. Unfortunately, as congested as 52nd is most of the time, it's rare you actually get to "ride the wave" at the rather pleasant 50mph posted speed limit.

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This is the intersection of 52nd and Sorenson . . . which, just like the rest of Sorenson Street, is wildly substandard. This particular intersection is ranked #3 right now as one of the most dangerous in the city. We'll see #1 in a moment.

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Now we're back to Ashcroft Street (facing north), which is still a major arterial this far north--it was actually part of a prior alignment of Highway 15 before the West Oregon Freeway was completed. You can see part of that "old" alignment there on the left. Ashcroft was transferred to city control in 1970, and the city eventually re-aligned Ashcroft a few years later when it was widened to 4 lanes. The cross street there is 59th Avenue NE.

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This is 59th/Erickson Way and Ashcroft again (facing south). . . the city's already made some improvements by adding right turn lanes to decrease right turn queueing, though Erickson east of Ashcroft is increasingly starting to become burdened with traffic and will likely need some improvement.

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Here's a rather mondo intersection . . . 71st Avenue NE and Ashcroft (facing north). 71st is another "Surfway", also between Ashcroft and Highway 15. It ties in to the northern end of the high tech area we looked at earlier, and until recently, had formed the northern city limits for Chemeketa. While 71st also needs to be beefed up, this intersection isn't the #1 on the list. In fact, it's doing a pretty darn good job despite the very high volumes, thanks to those dual left turn lanes.

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This here is the #1 most dangerous intersection in the Chemeketa area--52nd Avenue and Highway 219, also known as Hillsboro Highway NE (facing south).

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You may remember 219 along the Division/Commerce couplet downtown . . . it becomes a 2-lane expressway just north of 24th Avenue NE (with a couple 4-lane spots). 52nd takes on the Highway 221 designation west of this intersection as it crosses over the Willamette, into Eola County and skirts the north edge of the City of Vivien Heights. ORDOT, as well as both Marion and Eola Counties, and the Cities of Chemeketa and Vivien Heights are already formulating a plan to fix this problem spot, which will be integrated as part of a series of long-term projects to improve 52nd.

52nd Avenue NW in Eola County, just across the bridge (facing south). It has a rather elaborate little interchange with Wallace Road NW, a major arterial through Vivien Heights, which you can see a glimpse of on the right. The city had planned to open up the land north of 52nd for development, which it recently annexed, but with the current traffic issues on 52nd, it has temporarily put a moratorium on construction in the area until the necessary improvements have been made--a rather risky move from an economic standpoint as Vivien Heights is trying to emerge as more than a simple "bedroom community" of Chemeketa.

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So, that does it for this update. We'll be looking at some construction again this next update, and there's a good chance you'll see ORDOT in action for the first time.

-Alex


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6 Comments


great use of NWM and the tuleps..i like thoses industrial buildings too if you could tell me where you got them..anyway keep up the good work.

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WOW looks so realistic! AWESOME! But how did you get the turning lanes to appear on pics 4, 10, 16,17,18 and 19? 

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