• Moose

Tarkusian Cities

  • Entries
  • Comments
  • Views

About this City Journal

The CJ that's always under construction! Tarkusian Cities follows the travails of various transportation authorities across an alternate universe version of Western North America

Entries in this City Journal


Hi everyone-

Well, I'm back with the first "post-doctoral" update. We'll be getting a close up on the New Argentum this time around. Appropriately enough, today also happens to be the birthday of one especially loyal Tarkusian reader from the SC4D edition, our Amsterdammer friend sebes, who created the "drunk engineer" term to refer to the quacks who built the original Caldera Lane/Barnaby Drive interchange in Old Argentum. For those who don't remember it:


Yeah. That wasn't pretty. Fortunately, New Argentum's hiring practices tend to be much better at screening out the intoxicated candidates, so the illustrious J. Ron Error, former Capital Projects Engineer for the City of Argentum and the original "drunk engineer", won't be back to stick another "masterpiece" like that in there.

First off, here's a map of the central city tile of New Argentum. The "dashed line" bits are involved in the first construction project we'll examine. You'll notice some familiar road names from Old Argentum on here, including a few "honorees" from earlier in Tarkusian Cities. (Click to view larger)


Now, I'm going to show an image of something I've never shown before--how I actually start off a town (facing east). Usually, I lay out a small downtown-ish area and build out basic arterial roadways from it.


Here it is at a later stage in development, more or less filled in (facing east).


This is the intersection of Caldera Drive and Argentum Boulevard (facing north). As you can imagine, this is a major intersection that basically serves as the "gateway" into central New Argentum from the south.


This is where Argentum Boulevard intersects Isthmus Avenue, a major east-west route (facing north). It's clearly quite congested.


Same vicinity, a little farther north (facing north).


A farther out view of the Argentum/Caldera intersection (facing north).


This is along Caldera Drive as it heads diagonally along the shores of Emerson Lake (facing north). As you can see here, seawalls have been built to keep Emerson Lake from spilling its banks during unseasonably wet weather. The Stone Caldera, a mini crater lake in the midst of Argentum's downtown (and where Caldera Drive and Crater Street get their name) is also pictured.


And here's where Caldera Drive intersects both Vista Street and Centum Avenue (facing north). Some building construction is also occurring.


In order to alleviate the congestion along Argentum Boulevard, and at its intersection with Caldera Drive, the city is undertaking a project to convert Crater Street and Argentum Boulevard into a one-way couplet, between Lake Drive and a bit north of Isthmus Avenue. Caldera and Lake will also become a couplet for a few short blocks. Construction on the south end of this project has begun, as you can see here (facing north).


This is at the north end of the project (facing east).


These two images show the connector roadway between Argentum Boulevard and Crater Street, north of Isthmus, being constructed, forming the northern split into the Argentum/Crater couplet (facing east).



The finished result of this project will be shown next update which, astonishingly enough, will be Update 100 of Tarkusian Cities. Hope you enjoyed this one, and we'll be back to New Argentum for some more construction shortly.



Hi everyone-

Well, it's been a rather busy 6 months since Tarkusian Cities last saw some action. RL's been good, but hectic (finishing my dissertation and finally seeing light at the end of the Ph.D. tunnel, plus teaching this spring), and my SC4 time has, for much of the past several months, been consumed with NAM 31 and its "point-x" releases. My updating here will continue to be sporadic, going into the future, but in the meanwhile, as I have a little bit of content prepped, I figured I'd drop Update 98 on you all.

Chemeketa: 15th/16th Ave NE Couplet Extension

With the increased popularity of luxury waterfront condos along the Willamette, both in Chemeketa and Vivien Heights, traffic in the northern CBDs of both cities has become a bit onerous, particularly along Division Street N and Wallace Road NW.

In order to mitigate some of the ongoing issues, and further regional interconnectivity, the two cities have acquired funding to extend the 15th and 16th Avenue NE couplet from Chemeketa, across the Willamette, to line up with 15th Avenue NW in Vivien Heights.

This is the existing intersection of the 15th/16th couplet on the Chemeketa side, with the Highway 215 couplet (Division St N/Commerce St NE), facing north. As you can see, 15th currently extends farther west as a two-way local street, and a pathway extends out of the end of 16th. In order to accommodate the improvements, the pathway will be re-routed, and the section of 15th to the west will be appropriated and converted to the eastbound part of the extended couplet.


This image is a little bit north, past the point where Division and Commerce converge into a two-way roadway. As you can see, there's been quite a building boom here. (facing north)


This is a little farther north yet, at Division and 24th Ave, just before Division turns into the Chemeketa Parkway. Quite a bit of development here, too. (facing north)


This is on the Vivien Heights side of the river, at the intersection of Wallace Road and 15th Avenue NW, the western bounds of the project. (facing north). As you can see, this is a pretty busy little stretch of road, too. Much of it is traveling between Chemeketa and Vivien Heights over the Wallace Road Bridge, which is currently the only such bridge south of the Northern Crossing (Highway 221/52nd Ave).


Work is underway on the Chemeketa side (facing north).


And on the Vivien Heights side (facing north). The wider street going north-south here is Water St NW.


The 15th Ave span has been constructed (facing north).


The work extending the couplet on the east side is mostly finished (facing west).


And here's the west side (facing north). The intersection of 15th/16th with Water St has been designed such that Water splits in two, and straddles some buildings, minimizing conflict points. As the speed limit on the westernmost portion of the couplet is only 25mph, the sharp curves along 16th as it merges onto 15th should not prove problematic, though it is likely that this particular intersection will be tweaked further by city engineers.


And here it is facing west.


The redesigned intersection of 15th and Wallace. As you might expect, a few buildings had to go to make way for the wider roadway (facing north).


And a map of the finished product.


That does it for Update 98. As I mentioned before, with life in flux, I can't say when I'll be able to post additional material, but thank you all for your patience over the years with the intermittent nature of Tarkusian Cities, and I hope you enjoyed this brief spring back into action.



Hi everyone-

There's been one big thing here that I haven't shown with respect to Chemeketa--a full region view. So, without further adieu, here it is--you can click it and get the giant version:


Also, if you're curious to see my transport layout overlaid onto the terrain, here's a full blast version of that. You can actually see Update 98's end product on there, so it serves as a bit of a teaser, too.

And another thing I haven't shown, which I may start doing more often given the transportation focus of this MD, is Congestion and Volume DataViews. This is actually in the central city tile, which has a game population of 332,308 (the largest I've ever built, actually), and for the record, I'm running the NAM Medium Simulator, and the only mass transit is a barely-used stretch of commuter rail.


Given the large population and the general lack of mass transit, it's holding up surprisingly well. Two of the extended yellow/red spots are along Wallace Road on the west side of the map, one at the top, and one just south of the bridge. Update 98 will largely take care of that top one, and mitigate the red spot there at the start of the Chemeketa Parkway.



Hi everyone-

For those who may remember that far back, before Tarkusian Cities, I had a short-lived CJ called "Argentum". Argentum (which eventually got appropriated into the stream of Tarkusian Cities). While that particular region was a bit rough around the ages (particularly in its early days), as I worked with it for so long, and it was the first region I built with the NAM in mind, I've always had particularly fond memories of it. Coincidentally, the first ever RHW I built was in Argentum--a roadway initially known as Highway 65 (it was actually a predecessor of one incarnation of "Highway 61" that ran through there).

This was part of one of the most complicated setups I built with the RHW in old Argentum.


That image really shows the limitations of the very first RHW release. First off--no slope mod (yikes!). You'll also notice I had to convert the RHWs into Avenues to cross them. The RHW, at that point, only allowed Roads to go over them. There was no Avenue-over-RHW piece, let alone an RHW-over-RHW capability, and my initial reasons for getting into RHW development were actually because of this very interchange. I had to use some very sketchy One-Way Road setups to make the ramps--back in 2006, was pretty much the only way to build custom interchanges--in fact, it was considered "the future" by many transportation luminaries of that era. The MIS wasn't on anyone's minds. And looking at today's developments, it's hard to believe this could have passed for a "good interchange" at any prior point in history.

This was another interchange of that era . . . farther south along old Highway 65. It got demolished for good early on in Tarkusian Cities history, in one of the zillions of road re-alignments and "realism adjustments" I made to that old Argentum region over the years. That approach I took in documenting these adjustments really set the tone for the rest of Tarkusian Cities.


The old Argentum region, over the years, became unstable to play, even as I improved it. As I was still relatively new to custom content when I began building it, there were some not-up-to-par plugins in there which, over time, corrupted it.

However, awhile back, I revisited the original terrain map for it in SC4 Terraformer. It was originally an auto-generated Landscape Designer map (anyone remember that tool?) that I tweaked fiendishly over the years in-game, and my last revisions to it cleaned it up. And I began building a completely new Argentum on it.


Argentum 2.0 Downtown (facing east)


I'll be back to Argentum 2.0 for certain in future updates.



Hi everyone-

I'm back to share the completion of the eastern portion of the Eriksen-Scarlet Corridor Project in Chemeketa.

Eriksen-Scarlet Corridor Project, Phase 2


When we left off last time, the section of Eriksen Drive NE between Ashcroft Street NE and the S-curve had been widened to 4 travel lanes. This is the east end of that phase, right before the intersection with Scarlet Street NE (facing north).


A section of the new alignment has been built, but not connected. The western portion of Eriksen (widened in Phase 1) will be curved to align with the southern segment of Scarlet. The eastern segment of Eriksen will T into these two segments (facing east).


The roadway has been closed off for further construction. The northern segment of Scarlet, which is a minor residential collector, is now accessed from a T-intersection off the eastern segment of Eriksen (facing east).


The eastern segment of Eriksen is now connected into the realignment (facing east).


This new segment is now open, and lighting and landscaping have been addressed (facing east).


A little detour along the northern segment of Scarlet--another "starpoint" roundabout (facing north).


Here's along the southern segment of Scarlet, in its old alignment, as it intersects 52nd Avenue NE. As you can see, it's pretty jammed with just 2 travel lanes. The roadway will be moved 100 feet west (facing north).


Here's where the widened roadway currently dumps onto the old southern segment of Scarlet (facing north).


Back at the 52nd/Scarlet intersection. The median area on 52nd has been paved further to accommodate the new intersection (facing north).


Further work at the intersection. Left turns have been restricted off 52nd in the interim (facing north).


The realigned segment has been built from Eriksen down to 52nd (facing north). The segment south of 52nd still needs to be realigned.


The segment south of 52nd has been closed off (facing north).


The segment south of 52nd has now been re-built. This is the rebuilt intersection at 49th Way NE. You can see the old alignment of Scarlet on the left (facing north).


The rebuilt intersection of 52nd/Scarlet is now full open (facing north). Some remnants of construction staging remain.


And here's the finished product, with some new commercial development in the area (facing north).


Here's a map showing how the area is set up now.


That does it for this project here in Tarkusian Cities--we'll have a bit of a change of pace next update, though I can't yet reveal what that'll entail. Only 4 more updates until Update 100 arrives!



Hi everyone-

Another construction project, another update. We'll be getting back to some familiar territory for this update . . .

I've posted up replies to the last update here.

Eriksen-Scarlet Corridor Project, Phase 1

Full regional map [link]

Project Area Map (dashed lines indicate realignments):


The Eriksen-Scarlet Corridor Project is Project #6, as identified in the current list of Chemeketa-area capital improvement projects. Eriksen Drive NE was built to serve as a neighborhood collector route, providing access between Ashcroft Street NE and residential developments in the area, and was later extended eastward to Rankine Lane NE. Further development has elevated the traffic volumes on Eriksen beyond its capacity, and it has increasingly been used by motorists as a cut-through from Ashcroft to 52nd Avenue NE, via Scarlet Street NE. The situation is especially bad between Ashcroft and Tamarack, a 2-lane section with a 25mph speed limit.

This project has been designed to better accommodate current and future traffic patterns in the area. Phase 1 of the project will widen Eriksen from Ashcroft through the S-Curve to 4 travel lanes, while Phase 2 will reconstruct the Eriksen/Scarlet intersection, and build a new, 4-lane alignment of Scarlet between Eriksen and 49th Way NE.

This is the current state of the intersection at Eriksen/59th Avenue NE and Ashcroft Street NE (facing west).


Just a little farther west, along 59th Avenue NE (facing west). The little stretch of 59th just west of the intersection with Ashcroft will need to be realigned to accommodate the widened Eriksen Drive.


Construction begins (facing west):



59th is temporarily closed off for realignment (facing west):


Demolition along Eriksen. The widening will only claim two houses (facing west):



Progress at the intersection with Ashcroft (facing west).


The widening right near the intersection has been more or less completed (facing west).



At the east end of the S-Curve (facing west).


This is at Tamarack Street NE (facing west). The stretch along the S-Curve has been closed down to speed along the widening. Motorists are advised to use 52nd or 71st in the interim.


The curve has been widened (facing west).


The improved intersection at Tamarack (facing west).


That does it for Phase 1. The next update will focus on Phase 2, the realignment of the eastern portion of the corridor.



Hi everyone-

I experienced a boot sector failure on my laptop's hard drive about a week ago, but fortunately, I've been able to recover my important things--including the Chemeketa region. I'm now running on a semi-new (larger) hard drive I scavenged out of my old HP laptop (itself a replacement for when the boot sector failed on that laptop's original drive), on which I've installed the preview of Windows 8 after a re-format. Now that the technical issues are sorted out, it's once again update time.

I've responded to all the replies on the last entry here [link]--thank you all for the great feedback and entertaining comments on it! :D

This update, we'll be taking a look at some development projects happening in East Chemeketa, right in the vicinity of the Highway 15/39th Avenue SPUI featured in Update 83. The high-tech boom in this area has also brought on a wave of commercial office and residential development, as well as some new infrastructure to handle all of it.

To go along with the new update, I've produced another edition of the full regional map: Full Regional Map

Here's a link to a smaller map of the exact area (click to expand):


Both feature the full build-out of the area we'll be looking at with this update, including previously identified "Project 13"--the extension of Noah Street NE.

This first image is of the initial work on the 5-way "starpoint" roundabout being built, where Noah Street will intersect extensions of Bernard Way NE and Flenderson Road NE, as well as a new east-west collector route designed to serve the area, 35th Avenue NE (facing north).


This is right near where 35th will intersect Halpert Road NE (facing north). Halpert will be widened to 4 lanes through the new intersection.


Here's the initial build of the intersection to provide construction access (facing north), before development goes in and 35th gets widened to include a center turn lane.


Here's the intersection after 35th is widened and development has gone in. As you can see, it's become a happening spot (facing north).


This is at the intersection of 39th and Halpert, previously re-built in Update 83, after more development (facing north).


Here's a couple of the "starpoint" in action, with the residential development having gone in around it. The planners behind these subdivisions wanted to create a distinctive and interesting street layout.

(facing east)


(facing north)


This is at the intersection of 39th/Hudson and Flenderson, post-development (facing north).


The fractional angle road here (yet to be named) was built as a collector off of Hudson Road NE to access some residential spots to the north.


It currently dead-ends here, but future plans entail extending it to Flatwood Road NE (facing north).


Finally, as there's been questions regarding the little "tail" that extends off of the Highway 15/215 "Flugelhorn" interchange and extends to Halpert Road, I thought I'd show what's been happening up there. There's been both some residential and high-tech development in the area (both facing north).



That does it for this update. The next two updates will be back in familiar stomping grounds, and then I may take some interesting detours after that . . .



Hi everyone-

Construction season is still in full swing, and another new update is upon us. We'll be taking a look at the completion of the Highway 36/Sorenson Street interchange.

Replies to the last update are up here--thanks for all your support and feedback on it! :D


Highway 36/Sorenson Street Project (continued)


Last update, we left off with the northern segment of Sorenson Street being realigned and widened to 4 lanes, between 5th and 16th Avenues NE. This construction update will focus on the southern part of the project area, including the reconfiguration of the Sorenson Street interchange along Highway 36.

Due to the high volume of truck traffic coming from the industrial area to the south, and the close proximity of the McCabe Street and Highway 15 interchanges to the Sorenson Street interchange, ORDOT has opted to replace the existing diamond/parclo hybrid with a first-in-the-region diverging diamond interchange (DDI). The DDI will be connected into collector-distributor roadways to the east. Proximity matters on the west side of the interchange will be mitigated by the future Highway 36 Chemeketa Center Modernization Project, which is currently planned to move the access points.

The new alignment of Sorenson Street has been built out toward Highway 36, and the existing parclo loop ramp on the north side of the interchange (providing access to and from westbound 36) is being demolished (facing east).



This Exit 57 sign now looks a bit out of place (facing west)


Work on the north side of the new interchange continues. You can see a sliver of the old Sorenson Street overpass in the bottom-right (facing north).


Facing east, as construction continues.


The old Sorenson Street interchange has now been closed off (facing east).



Motorists have been detoured to Mosby Road for access to the industrial area in the meanwhile, and access to Highways 15 and 36 is possible via the Hwy 15/Terent Road interchange. As seen from this image of the intersection of Mosby Road SE and Terent Road SE (facing south), traffic's definitely picked up.


Meanwhile, back at the interchange, there's progress on the construction of the overpass. Highway 36 traffic has been shifted over some in order to allow for staging (facing south).


The intersection with Stinson Road SE (the road just to the south of Highway 36) has been . . . wait for it . . . realigned to the south (facing east), taking over part of the old alignment of Sorenson. The western segment is closed for the present, and will be reconnected by the city once the main bulk of the interchange improvements are finished.


Old (top) and new (bottom) (facing east)


And the new overpass and exit on the west side of the interchange are now open. (facing east)


The ramps on the east side are still being constructed, including the C/D setup for the westbound lanes on Highway 36. The road to the left is Meander Drive NE (which forms a meandering loop--hence the name--off of Sorenson Street).


The entrance to 36 eastbound is being built (facing west). You can see a little stub of the old southern segment of Sorenson Street (which now connects into Stinson Road).


And here is the mostly completed interchange (facing west), with the C/D lanes constructed for westbound 36. The old northern segment of Sorenson now curves onto Meander just north of the freeway. Contractors are continuing to work on minor punchlist items.


Well, that does it for this installment of Tarkusian Cities. Next update, we'll go just a bit north and east, to take a brief look at the explosion of development brought on by the 39th Ave NE SPUI from Update 81.



Hi everyone-

After a nearly 4-month hiatus, Tarkusian Cities is back in the thick of construction season. I have a few capital improvement projects all around Chemeketa to showcase, which, for the first time in awhile, will entail visiting the south side of town. I've replied to everyone who commented on the previous update on the end of that update's comments section--thank you all for the support! :D

First off, a current region map, to reacquaint yourself with Chemeketa. (Trying out a new color scheme here, too.)

Current region map: [link]


Highway 36/Sorenson Street Project


ORDOT has identified that the segment of Highway 36 between downtown Chemeketa and the interchange with Highway 15 as a viable candidate for capital improvements. Among these improvements, one particular project was shortlisted for construction, the interchange with Sorenson Street.

Sorenson Street is a north-south arterial maintained by the City of Chemeketa, which provides access to several major industrial areas, and has long been a source of congestion. While city public works projects have noticeably improved the road well to the north of the project area, the portions of Sorenson Street in the vicinity of the existing interchange with Highway 36 is a 2-lane roadway with a 30mph speed limit, and has not seen much improvement since it was a semi-rural road on the outskirts of town.

As a result, it suffers significant congestion, and operates at LOS D at most hours, dropping to LOS F at the interchange and immediately south during peak hours.

As part of the project, ORDOT will be modernizing and re-aligning Sorenson Street, widening the roadway to include 4 travel lanes, from just south of the interchange, to 5th Avenue NE. The City of Chemeketa will be widening and re-aligning Sorenson between 5th and 16th Avenues NE in coordination with the interchange redesign.

The illustration below gives a rough outline of the improvements planned for this project.



This is where the ramps to and from Highway 36 eastbound intersect Sorenson Street (facing north).


Here is a full overview of the interchange area, with earth moving commencing on the new alignment of Sorenson Street (facing north).


This is an overview of the area surrounding the intersection of Sorenson with 5th Ave NE (facing north). As evidenced by the outlines of preliminary preparations for construction, a number of structures will need to be demolished to make way for the new roadway.


This is at the north end of the city's improvement project, at the intersection of Sorenson with 16th Ave NE (facing north). The segment north of 16th has already been widened to 4 lanes, and this project will widen the segment to the south to match.



Another look, a little farther south, with some preliminary construction preparations underway (facing north). Sorenson will be realigned slightly toward the west, with more slight curvature.


Demolition of structures near the interchange has commenced (facing north):



Just north of 5th Ave (facing north):


Farther north, near the existing curve (facing north):


This small pocket of residential will not be directly connected into the new alignment Sorenson Street, and will instead be accessed by a segment of the old alignment, which will be retained for local access purposes (facing north).




Closer to 16th Ave (facing north)


A portion of the new alignment has been constructed, and 9th Place NE has been extended to it (facing north). This extension will provide access to the portion of the old alignment that will be retained for local access, and will minimize disruption during construction staging.


The collector roadway just to the north (Meander Drive NE) will also be realigned, with its intersection with Sorenson being moved roughly 300 feet north (facing north).



This is back at the new 5th and Sorenson intersection (facing north). You can see the old intersection just to the right.


That does it for this installment of Tarkusian Cities. Next update, we'll be delving more into the reconstruction of the interchange itself. Hope you enjoyed it!



Hi everyone-

Tarkusian Cities latest "spurt" continues. Replies are now posted in the last update as well. :)

This update will focus on a variety of miscellaneous projects on the north end of Chemeketa and Vivien Heights that are in various stages of completion. As we saw last time with the Wallace Road widening, the construction moratorium has been lifted in North Vivien Heights, and the land north of Highway 221 (which crosses the Willamette and turns into the very familiar 52nd Ave NE in Chemeketa) was opened to development. Here's a map again:


Those roads with the dotted lines on the north end of the orangish area (which represents the Vivien Heights City Limits) are roads that will be (or in some cases, already have been built) as part of the developmental plans.

Among the most notable is an extension of Greenwich Ave NW (Project #5--the projects are arbitrarily numbered), which will include the construction of a new bridge and roundabout that will connect it to Highway 219 and 71st Ave NE on the Chemeketa side of the river.

This is on the tail end of construction (facing north). The bridge is in place (thank you, DBE!) and the roundabout is about ready to be connected.



You may notice the roundabout has a southeast leg that simply leads to a dead end at present. Eventually, this dead end will be bridged over Highway 215 and connect into the old (pre-Chemeketa Pkwy) segment of Highway 219 and 59th Ave NE, as the area around the roundabout and the 71st Ave interchange will be developed. There are also plans for a bike/pedestrian trail along the river that will tie into this development.

Next, we'll take a look at Project #3 on the map, along Highway 221 itself. In order to provide more access to the new development (and not have traffic weaving incessantly from Wallace to Greenwich along 221), a new roadway is being built to connect Wallace Road up with the Greenwich extension just southwest of the bridge. Additionally, as development is occurring to the west, in the hills, 221 is in need of further expansion itself. As a result, the interchange at Wallace Road is being reconstructed into a weird diamond that retains the flyover from 221 NB onto Wallace SB.

Construction has begun already in this image (facing east toward Chemeketa). The southbound lanes on 221 have already been demolished, and some temporary reconfiguration for construction staging is already underway.


Grading begins on the extension (facing east).


Another overpass ramp bites the dust (facing east). Access to the last bit of 221 into Chemeketa is temporary accommodated by this at-grade ramp . . .


though staging ultimately required that it be shut down immediately. The mainline has been diverted onto Wallace Road itself, with a rather circuitous alignment so work can continue on the interchange.



Southbound lanes being rebuilt (still facing east). The section west of the interchange will be widened to 4 lanes for a brief stretch (which will eventually get extended further).


The mainline is mostly back open again (facing east), though access to Wallace is being accommodated by another temporary at-grade intersection.


The at grade roadway has been turned into an exit ramp now, and things are back to being access controlled (facing east).


The flyover ramp from 221 NB onto Wallace SB has been reconnected (facing east). Someone on the construction crew didn't get the memo about making the whole thing concrete, however. :P


This is farther west, in a section of town you haven't seen yet. This is at the intersection of Highway 221 and Doaks Ferry Road NW (facing west), AKA Project #4. (Fun fact: the real Salem, OR has an intersection of Highway 221 and Doaks Ferry Road. It's not too far off the location of this one.) As there's been a lot of residential development going in on Doaks Ferry, the intersection will be turned into a grade-separated interchange (with a Super-2 for the present).


This is an S-Curve on the existing alignment of Highway 221 just west of the Doaks Ferry intersection. (facing west) It'll be eliminated as part of the interchange construction. The small substation there will also need to be relocated as part of the project.


The a replacement substation has been built with a new access road (facing west). The new location will allow the utility district to expand the substation without fear of future (inevitable) expansions of the highway.


Another inconveniently located grocery store is demolished (facing west). It's right in the way of where the overpass will be located.


Doaks Ferry has now been closed off for construction. Motorists can still access it from 43rd Ave NW.


New roadway being built for the S-Curve straightening (facing west).


A little peek at the new interchange (facing west). It's a half-diamond/half-parclo with a roundabout connecting the parclo segment. These improvements are somewhat temporary . . . more will be done here before much longer.


That does it for this update. We'll take a closer look at some finished results from this area next time, and then, the big Sorenson Street realignment on the other side of town.



Hi everyone-

I'm back with more Tarkusian Cities . . . the start of another brief "spurt" of updates, beginning with a brief little "prelude" this update.

First off, here's a new map . . . this shows the Chemeketa Parkway (Highway 215) completed, as well as giving a peek at the direction of future improvements in Chemeketa. You'll notice some red boxes with numbers, denoting projects, as well as some dotted lines.


Wallace Road NW Widening (South of Greenwich to 43rd Ave)

This project will widen the stretch of Wallace Road NW in Vivien Heights from 3 to 5 lanes between just south of Greenwich Ave NW and 43rd Avenue NW, just south of the interchange at Highway 221.

This is Wallace Road NW just south of the intersection with Greenwich Ave NE (facing north). It's a 3-lane road (2 travel lanes with a center turn lane), which functions as the main artery between Highway 221 and the city center of Vivien Heights.


This is just a bit north of that intersection (facing north).


This is at Wallace Road and 43rd Avenue NW (facing north), a major road that leads to the western reaches of town, up in the hills--you can see construction preparation is already underway at the bottom of the image.


The grocery store there had to be torn out to make way for the widening (facing north). Vivien Heights has been operating under a construction moratorium for some time now due to inadequate transportation facilities, but these restrictions are due to be loosened upon the completion of widening, which will open the west side of the road to commercial development, allowing a replacement to be built.


Wallace Road has now been widened (facing north), though the pavement on 43rd has been torn up, as it'll be rebuilt to handle turn lanes.


43rd has been rebuilt (facing north), and the intersection signalized.


This is just north of the intersection at 43rd (facing north), where the road currently narrows back down to 2 lanes, just south of the interchange at Highway 221. The interchange will be rebuilt substantially in future updates, as the area north of Highway 221, as well as land immediately west of Wallace, will finally be opened up to development.


Here's the intersection at 43rd now that all the construction equipment is out of the way (facing north). A park has been built at the site of the former grocery store.


That does it for this update. While I had initially planned on switching gears over to a new region, I've had a bit of a "second wind" with Chemeketa and am still planning out how to present the new region, so we'll be staying in the same vicinity for awhile. Lots of construction still to do. :) Hope you enjoyed it!



Hi everyone-

Well, I'm back again with some more Tarkusian Cities . . . at long last, we'll be finishing up the Chemeketa Parkway.

Chemeketa Parkway (Highway 215): Phase 4 (Ashcroft to Highway 15)

As we left off last time, with Phase 3B, the Chemeketa Parkway (Highway 215) had been built up to (and slightly past) Ashcroft Street NE, almost to its eventual endpoint at the West Oregon Freeway (Highway 15). Here's the map again for reference purposes:


This final segment of the highway will involve the construction of new interchanges at Rankine Lane NE and Highway 15, as well as the reconstruction of the 99th Avenue NE interchange on Highway 15 to minimize weaving conflicts.

What you're looking at here is the eventual "endpoint" of Highway 215. The existing highway there is Highway 15 (facing north).


This is at Rankine Lane NE, which will be getting an interchange (facing east).



In the interim, to help aid traffic flow in the area, the segment of Highway 215 from Ashcroft to Rankine has been built, but currently ends at Rankine with a signalized T-intersection (facing east).


Work on the overpass (facing north).


Work on the 15/215 interchange is also coming along nicely (facing north).


Ramp closures at the 99th Ave/Highway 15 interchange (facing south). It will be converted from a Diamond to a Parclo AB (Folded Diamond) as part of the project.


A majority of the work is now done on the 15/215 interchange (facing south). It's kind of a screwed-up trumpet: a flugelhorn, perhaps?


The Rankine Lane interchange has been built up as well . . . it's a SPUI, as the vicinity will be seeing quite a bit of development in the near future, and capacity is a must. The Rankine area is a fast-growing exurb of Chemeketa. (facing north)


This is one of the weirder aspects of the Highway 15/215 interchange: a "tail" ramp that connects Highway 215 up with Halpert Road NE. (facing west)

Work continues at Hwy 15/99th Ave (facing west).


The interchange has been closed off completely now--the overpass will be widened as part of the improvements (facing south).




The overpass is now open (facing south).


Another look at the "Flugelhorn Interchange" in action (facing west).


An even more zoomed out shot (facing west).


The completed Parclo conversion/widening at 99th Avenue (facing north). The change in design will give traffic coming from northbound 215 more space to merge onto mainline northbound 15.


Fast-forwarding a little, a look at some of the development that has sprung up along Rankine Lane at the interchange (facing north). We'll be taking a closer look at this area at some point in the not-too-distant future.


Well, that does it for this update, and for the Chemeketa Parkway project. We'll look at a few other little projects in the area and other developments there next time . . . I also have a new region or two that might sneak in--we'll see. ;)

Hope you enjoyed it!



Hi everyone-

First off, thanks for your patience between updates . . . RL's been beating up on me pretty good, but I seem to have emerged victorious from it, fortunately. :thumbsup: I'd also like to thank everyone who nominated Tarkusian Cities during the Trixies over at ST . . . it ended up winning Best Roadgeek CJ for 2011, which was a very pleasant surprise.

Without further ado, the update:


Project Map:


Phase 3B of the Chemeketa Parkway project will continue the construction of the Chemeketa Parkway (Highway 215), access-controlled freeway, from Bushnell Road NE to Ashcroft Street NE. As part of the project, some nearby transportation facilties will also be upgraded, including widening of Ashcroft St between 82nd Avenue NE (the former southern segment of Bushnell Road NE) and the interchange at Chemeketa Parkway.

This is where Ashcroft Street will meet Highway 215 (facing west).


A temporary alignment of Ashcroft has been built, to facilitate construction of the new overpass (facing west).


Construction getting further underway (facing west).






The freeway itself is starting to go in now (facing west).


The new 4-lane Ashcroft St overpass has opened (facing west).


This farm access road is in the way of the new freeway alignment. It will be disconnected, with the southern segment being connected into the 82nd/Ashcroft intersection (facing east).


Construction on the new southern connection (facing east).


You can see Ashcroft Street (and 82nd Ave NE) here. This segment of Ashcroft is still getting widened (facing east).


The completed new roadway, with a fresh layer of asphalt (facing east).



The road now split by Highway 215 (facing east), which, as you can see, has a deceleration lane.


And a look at partially folded diamond interchange at Highway 215/Ashcroft Street (facing east).


Well, that does it for this edition of Tarkusian Cities. I'll be back next time to finish off Phase 4 of the Chemeketa Parkway, where it'll finally be connected into Highway 15. After that, we'll look at a few other little construction projects around Chemeketa, and then we might move onto a new region--a complete reboot of Argentum. ;)



Hi everyone-

I'm back with another installment of Tarkusian Cities. We'll be continuing the Highway 215 Chemeketa Parkway project with Phase 3, which will construct a freeway to connect Downtown Chemeketa to Highway 15 to the northeast, through the fast-growing northern suburbs.

Because there were so many images that resulted during the construction of Phase 3, I've actually split Phase 3 into two parts.


Project Map:


Phase 3A of the Chemeketa Parkway project will continue the construction of the Chemeketa Parkway (Highway 215), access-controlled freeway, from the Highway 219/71st Avenue SPUI to Bushnell Road NE. As part of the project, some nearby transportation facilties will also be upgraded, including realignment of the Bushnell Road/Progress Street NE intersection, and improvements to the Windsor Industrial Rail Spur.

This is an overview of the project area (facing north). The town in the upper left (northwest) corner is Windsor, a rural suburb of Chemeketa with a population of roughly 2000.


This is at the intersection of Bushnell Road NE and Progress Street NE (facing north), two major roadways in this vicinity, which will be realigned in order to accommodate the freeway alignment and improve traffic flow.


This is where the Chemeketa Parkway will meet the rail spur to the industrial area (facing north). In order to keep the freeway fully access-controlled, it will require the road to become elevated, in addition to realignment of the spur.


Here is where the spur meets the mainline of the railroad (facing north). This mainline is one of the most important in the entire region, connecting the entire Willamette Valley.


Constructio begins on the spur (facing north).





Here is where the spur meets Highway 219 (facing north) just south of Windsor. The cross street at the top is Withnall Way NE.


Here is where the spur reaches the heavy industrial area (facing north), near the intersection of 99th Avenue NE and MacFarland Road NE. As part of the realignment, the spur will be upgraded to two tracks between the industrial park and the mainline.



Here is work on the freeway overpass over the spur (facing north).


This is where the Chemeketa Parkway meets the mainline (facing east), under construction.


This is at the intersection of Bushnell and Progress again (facing east). As you can see, the curve on Progress is right in the way of the freeway alignment. To that effect, Progress will instead head north and connect directly into the northern segment of Bushnell.


Paving underway (facing east).


The realignment is open, and traffic from the southern segment of Bushnell can temporarily access Progress and the northern segment sing the temporary connector road.


This is further north along the realignment section that is now completed (facing east), though as you can see, some motorists don't seem to have gotten the message (must be GPS users).


This is the southern part of the realignment (facing east). The southern segment of Bushnell will directly T into Progress Street, and to mitigate any confusion with navigation and emergency vehicle dispatch, the southern segment will be renamed 82nd Avenue NE between Progress and Ashcroft.


The new 82nd/Progress/Bushnell intersection will be signalized with added turn lane capacity (facing north).


And it's now opened up (facing north). And apparently, those GPS users still haven't a clue.


The temporary connector is now closed off (facing north), and the remnant of the northern segment of Bushnell has been realigned to end at a cul-de-sac just north of the freeway, to allow access to the local farms.



Work can now commence on building the freeway and the Bushnell Road interchange (facing north)




And here's an image of the interchange, completed (facing west).


That does it for this update. I'll be back with Phase 3B soon, which will go up to the Ashcroft Street interchange.



Hi everyone-

RL reared its head up a good bit before I could get into my planned conclusion of this construction arc, but with a little bit of a respite, I'm finally back with the concluding arc of this "spurt" of updates--the Chemeketa Parkway project.


Project Map


The Chemeketa Parkway Project will complete a "quarter-loop" freeway connection, between downtown Chemeketa's Division/Commerce Street couplet and Highway 15 (the West Oregon Freeway) through North Chemeketa, partially using the existing alignment of Highway 219.

Phase 1 of the project updated the 2-lane stretch of Highway 219 between 28th Avenue NE and 52nd Avenue NE (Highway 221) to an access-controlled freeway with grade-separated interchanges at 39th and 52nd Avenues and a RIRO (right-in/right-out) at 33rd Avenue.

Phase 2 of the project will build a new stretch of freeway parallel to existing Highway 219 between 52nd and 71st Avenues with 3 travel lanes in each direction, as well as a new interchange at 71st Avenue, which will be re-aligned to connect into the existing northern segment of Highway 219 that heads toward Windsor. As the alignment of the Chemeketa Parkway from this point diverges from the initial routing of Highway 219, ORDOT has decided to truncate Highway 219 to the new interchange at 71st Avenue and assign Highway 215 to the Chemeketa Parkway and Division/Commerce Streets between Highway 36 and Highway 15.

This is an existing stretch of 71st Avenue NE (facing north). The construction work there marks the alignment of the new Chemeketa Parkway.


Here is the existing curve on Highway 219 just south of its intersection with 71st Avenue (facing north). The work on the left side of the screen represents ground clearing in preparation for the Chemeketa Parkway (now Highway 215). The work on the right is for a frontage road that will, at least for the time being, connect 59th Avenue with 71st Avenue.


More work underway at 71st and the future parkway (facing north). The radio station there will be forced to relocate in order to make way for the new Single-Point Urban Interchange (SPUI).



71st Avenue has been closed off for construction purposes (facing north). It will be re-aligned to the west of the interchange, where it will connect into the existing northern segment of Highway 219, and the segment to the east will be widened and partially elevated. Motorists can use 52nd Avenue, 59th Avenue, or Progress Street/Bushnell Road to Withnall Way in order to access Highway 219 in the interim.


More preparations for the new interchange (facing east).


The elevated structure for the actual interchange itself has been constructed (facing north) and awaits further connections.



East of the new SPUI, 71st has been widened to 4 lanes and placed on an embankment, eliminating the at-grade rail crossing (facing north).


Grading west of the interchange on the new connection to Highway 219 (facing north).


Paving on the new stretch of the parkway (facing north).


Here, you can see the existing alignment of Highway 219 near its intersection with 59th Avenue NE and the end of Phase 1 work, with the right-of-way cleared for Highway 215 (facing north).


New and old collide, just south of the old 71st Avenue intersection (facing north).


A stretch of the new "jog" on Highway 215 (facing north).


This is where the new Highway 215 alignment will connect with the existing stretch of the Chemeketa Parkway/Highway 219, just south of the 52nd Avenue/Highway 221 interchange (facing north).


The ramps on the north side of the 52nd Avenue interchange have been closed, and existing Highway 219 has been detoured slightly to ease the construction of the connection (facing north).


The construction alignment at 59th Avenue (facing north). You can see that the new alignment is progressing quite nicely at this point.


Getting ready to connect the new alignment in (facing north).


The new alignment being connected into the 52nd Avenue interchange (facing north).


The old stretch of Highway 219 will be dead-ended here for the time being (facing north).


This is the new 71st interchange, finally open to traffic (facing north).


This is just north of the new 71st Avenue interchange (facing north). The highway currently just dead-ends at a barrier, but will be extended north (and eventually east) in the next two updates.


An overview of the big curve on the new Highway 215 alignment, with the frontage road connecting 59th up (facing north).


That does it for this installment of Tarkusian Cities. We'll be looking at Phases 3 and 4 of the Chemeketa Parkway/Highway 215 in the next two updates, respectively. And if you looked at the map in detail, you should have some idea of what this will entail . . . lots of new interchanges to look forward to.

Hope you enjoyed it!



Hi everyone-

I'm back with more Tarkusian Cities . . . this time, a little bit smaller project in the same part of town.

Replies from the last update are up here.


Scarlet Street NE Extension Project


This project will connect the two disconnected segments of Scarlet Street NE, separated by Sorenson Creek by constructing a new bridge, and extend the street south of 39th Avenue NE, to an extended 32nd Way NE. Scarlet Street is a collector road that the City of Chemeketa has been gradually expanding with the intent of making it into a minor arterial, and in a later project, it will eventually be extended to connect with 19th Avenue NE.

This is the existing southern disconnected segment of Scarlet, accessed via 39th Ave (facing north). The city, thinking ahead, stipulated that the developers of the subdivision seen here build a stub for a potential future extension northward.


The stub has been widened into a 3-lane configuration, and a signal has been installed at 39th (facing north). An initial stub on the southern extension down to 32nd has also been built.


The northern and southern segments are still separated by Sorenson Creek (facing north).


Crews work on a bridge over the creek (facing north).




Now that the bridge has been constructed, work resumes on the Scarlet Street south of 39th (facing north).



This is the southern bounds of the project--the new intersection of 32nd Way and Scarlet Street (facing north).


This is the intersection of 32nd Way NE and Sorenson Street NE, which was constructed during the realignments of the Rankine-Dallas Corridor project (facing north). 32nd Way is being extended west to meet up with the southern extension of Scarlet Street.


The intersection of 39th and Scarlet with the southern extension mostly in place (facing north).


The new intersection of 32nd Way and Scarlet, with a stub in place for the eventual further extension of Scarlet (facing north).


And that does it for this update--hope you enjoyed it! Next time, we'll be looking at a really big project--the next phase of the Chemeketa Parkway.



Hi everyone-

First off, Happy New Year to all of you! At any rate, I'm back with the first Tarkusian Cities update of 2012, which will involve the construction of a brand new interchange.

Replies to last update are also now up here.


This project will rebuild the overpass of 39th Avenue NE in Chemeketa over the West Oregon Freeway (Highway 15) into a Single-Point Urban Interchange, and widen and rebuild several intersections along 39th Ave NE, within the Interchange Area Management Plan (IAMP) zone:


The Halpert District in Northeast Chemeketa is an especially fast-growing part of the city, home to an increasing number of high-tech companies, and is also seeing considerable residential growth to the west. In order to help better facilitate freight movement in this veritable crossroads of commerce, not only locally, but intrastate and interstate, ORDOT has decided to build a new interchange at the city's request along Highway 15, the main north-south freeway that runs through Olympus, Willamette and Siskiyou states.

Currently, the main access to the Halpert District from Highway 15 is at the 52nd Avenue NE interchange, with subsidiary access to the north end of the district at the 71st Avenue NE interchange. As there are plans for large-scale high-tech industrial development in the southern reaches of the district, ORDOT has decided to site the interchange at 39th Avenue, which already has an existing overpass, and is adequately spaced from the 16th Avenue NE and 52nd Avenue interchanges NE. The necessity of this interchange is further heightened by recent residential growth in the southwestern reaches of the IAMP.

This is the existing 39th Avenue NE overpass, looking north. It dates back to the time when the current freeway alignment of Highway 15 was first constructed, and only carries two travel lanes. It is adequate at present, but is projected to drop below a satisfactory Level of Service (LOS) within the next 5 years, possibly sooner.


This is the existing stretch of 39th Avenue just west of the overpass, looking north. The two intersections seen (from left-to-right) are Mosby Road NE and Aldrin Way NE.


This is the existing intersection of 39th Avenue/Bernard Way and Halpert Road, facing north. As you can see, it has an essentially rural quality to it, a quality which the traffic volumes have outgrown.


Looking north, the overpass has been closed off for construction, and demolition begins. Traffic on 39th between Mosby and Halpert must detour via 52nd Ave or 16th Ave.





Grading begins on the widened 39th Avenue overpass, facing west. 39th Avenue will be widened to 4 travel lanes between Mosby and Halpert, and the re-alignment of the Hudson Road/Bernard Way intersection to the east will extend the 4-lane section farther.


Work on the 39th/Aldrin intersection, just west of Highway 15, looking west.



Work begins on grading the widened eastern portion of 39th, looking west.


A boatload of cranes are in place, and work begins on building the new overpass and interchange, looking north.


The main structure for the SPUI, including ramps from the freeway, is now more or less in place, facing north. Work commences on building the rest of the overpass and connection to 39th Ave.




Ongoing work at 39th and Halpert, facing north. Both roads will be widened to 4 lanes with dual-left turn lanes at the intersection.


The improved intersection at 39th and Aldrin, facing north.


The SPUI is now more or less ready to open, though the segment of 39th to the east, between the interchange and Halpert Road is still closed for widening (facing north).


Paving is ongoing on Halpert and the east segment of 39th (facing north).


Traffic on Halpert has been detoured onto a temporary roadway while the new intersection is constructed (facing north).



The intersection is now open and ready for whatever development may come its way (facing north).


The SPUI open for business and doing its job (facing north).


That does it for this project. Next update, we'll be looking at the Scarlet Street extension, followed by the last "chapter" of the spurt: a big ol' freeway project. Hope you enjoyed this update!



Hi everyone-

It's time to continue the holiday construction blitz! This update we'll be looking at the conclusion of the 52nd Avenue widening project in Chemeketa. Replies are up on the last update as well.


52nd Avenue NE Corridor Widening Project: Phase 3 (Scarlet to Ashcroft)

Phase 3 of the 52nd Avenue NE Widening Project will widen the section of 52nd from Scarlet Street NE (the west end point of Phase 2), west to Ashcroft Street NE, from 4 to 6 travel lanes, with a center left-turn lane along some stretches.

Here's a map overviewing the three phases of the project (click to see up-close):


There's a couple hints on there as to the next projects to be undertaken.

This is the intersection of 52nd and Tamarack Street NE, roughly at the midpoint of Phase 3 (facing north). Tamarack is a collector route that serves as the main access to many subdivisions in the area, and is the only signalized intersection between Ashcroft and Scarlet along 52nd. Construction is already under way here.


This is at the intersection of 52nd and Willow (facing east). In order to make way for the widened roadway, there will need to be some . . . ahem . . . demolition.



This is at 52nd and Ashcroft, the western limits of the project (facing east). As you can see, the right-of-way (ROW) is being prepped for the widened 52nd Avenue, which will also entail some demolition.



In order to better facilitate work on the existing 52nd Avenue travel lanes, crews have paved up a section of the new ROW and diverted traffic onto it. This is facing east, at the Ashcroft intersection.


Here's where traffic is being detoured back onto the old ROW for the time being, just east of the Tamarack intersection (facing east).


Work underway at the Tamarack intersection (facing east), with the old ROW partially repaved. A temporary access route from the new ROW allows access to commercial properties near the intersection.


The widening is largely completed at the western extent of the project now, at 52nd and Ashcroft (facing east).


This is at 52nd and Willow, post-widening (facing east).


This is at 52nd and Tamarack, post-widening (facing east).


Later, soundwalls were installed for the subdivisions to the north, and the widening attracted commercial development to the south (facing east).


Commercial development was also attracted to the 52nd and Ashcroft intersection as well (facing east).


More new development near 52nd and Willow, including the newest addition to the Chemeketa Park Department, Willow Park (facing east).


And as mentioned on the map and during Phase 2 construction, here's what happened to the 52nd/Sorenson intersection--it was converted into a Right-In/Right-Out (RIRO) setup, allowing access to/from eastbound 52nd. Access to westbound 52nd must take place at 52nd and Scarlet or 52nd and Rankine.


That does it for this update of Tarkusian Cities and the 52nd Avenue Corridor Project. We'll be onto the Highway 15/39th Avenue interchange project next time.

An interesting fact: this is the 25th entry dealing with the Chemeketa region, tying it with Argentum for the most focused-on region in Tarkusian Cities. Next update, Chemeketa will break that record.



Hi everyone-

Well, after a long hiatus, Tarkusian Cities is back. I want to thank all of my readers for their patience and support, and the thoughtful comments and encouragement several of you left in response to my last "wall of text" about the future of TC. I have decided to "go with the grain" and basically take advantage of the natural "spurt-and-hiatus" flow of things here.

While RL is a little less hectic, as is the case right now, I'm going to try to squeeze in a rapid-fire "spurt" of updates before things flare up again. What this means is that I'll be updating things here somewhat regularly during the holidays, until early January, mostly focusing on construction projects in North Chemeketa. Then Tarkusian Cities will be on a planned hiatus, probably until April, though you might see bits of new stuff in "Show Us Your Interchanges" and the like as time permits in between then.

The first of these "rapid-fire" updates will, at long last, resume the 52nd Avenue NE widening project.


52nd Avenue NE Corridor Widening Project: Phase 2 Continued (Mosby to Scarlet)

In case anyone needs to refresh themselves with the lay of the land, here's the most recent full region transport map of Chemeketa. There's one item you won't yet see on here . . . the Scarlet Street NE extension south of 52nd Avenue.

As we left off last time, 52nd Avenue NE had been closed off just west of the Rankine Lane NE intersection, at Sorenson Creek, for bridge work seen underway here (facing east).



While the city has encouraged motorists to use 39th Ave NE or 71st Ave NE as detours, quite a few folks have instead opted for Eriksen Way NE, an east-west collector route just north of 52nd, and have successfully clogged it up--here's looking at the intersection of Eriksen and Rankine (facing east).


This is at Eriksen Way NE and Scarlet Street NE (facing east). As you can see, it's fairly clogged up as well . . . and because of the Scarlet Street extension south of 52nd, the city's already started making some preparations for a right-turn lane from Eriksen EB onto Scarlet SB. More improvements for Eriksen are planned, though the city has not yet identified funding for the project.


Bridge work continues (facing east). Sorenson Creek actually had to be re-routed slightly in order to accommodate the wider bridge. (Before anyone asks, those T21 trees are a personal "tweak" of jackxu's AVE-2 mod.)



Here's the "choke point" where the already widened section of 52nd narrows down, just west of Mosby Road NE (facing east).


Work on connecting the new bridge up to the eastern segment of 52nd (facing east). That intersection there is 52nd and Rankine. In order to minimize the environmental impact of having to slightly divert Sorenson Creek, a wetlands mitigation pond has been constructed at the southwest corner of the intersection.


And now the bridge is open (facing east).


The improved intersection at 52nd and Aldrin Way NE (facing east). The turn lanes are so new the city crews haven't even painted the arrows.


52nd and Scarlet post-construction (facing east).


52nd and Rankine post-construction (facing east). You might recognize this image--it's actually the NWM download promo shot.


And a related project--here's where the Scarlet Street extension currently ends, at Sorenson Creek (facing east). As you can see, however, some advanced planning when the subdivision south of the creek (accessed via 39th Ave NE) means there's already a road stub in place for the southern segment. We'll be looking at that soon, along with Phase 3 (of 3) of the 52nd Avenue NE Project (from Scarlet to Ashcroft), the Highway 15/39th Avenue interchange, and the extension of the Chemeketa Parkway.


Hope the new update was an enjoyable read for you--there will be more to come quite soon!

-Alex (Tarkus)


Moving Forward

Hi everyone-

First off, my apologies to all my loyal readers here for the lack of updates and the "roaring silence" here (to borrow from Manfred Mann's Earth Band). Between the usual case of Fall Real-Life Syndrome (RLS) and the fact that my SC4 focus has been pretty much entirely consumed with NAM projects (first, NAM 30/RHW 5.0/NWM 2.0/etc.; now "Project 0E"), I haven't really had the time/energy to update Tarkusian Cities, and I've been evaluating where to go from here with it.

Much as there's been a trend toward gaps between updates (or spurts of updates) here, there's been large gaps between NAM releases as well lately--the timespan between the last 3 releases has been 9 months on average, and it's prompted discussions within the team in terms of how we develop, package and release things. That discussion has resulted in a few changes going forward with NAM Version 31, including scrapping the so-called "modular NAM" paradigm (Core + Essentials + Components/Separate Download Plugins) we've had since 2007, in favor of a "monolithic NAM" paradigm (Core only, with Components absorbed into the Core, meaning that instead of downloading the RHW, NWM, HSRP, etc., you'll be checking a box for it in the NAM installer). This shift in thinking was largely the result of trying to "go with the grain" of our typical tendencies, and based on watching download stats, user comments and technical support cases. We're all quite curious to see how it works out, and we're hoping it solves a lot of recurring developmental process and tech support issues we've been facing over the past 4 years.

This process has gotten me thinking about Tarkusian Cities again, particularly in light of the fact that I've had folks asking what was going on with it. I've been taking into consideration my anticipated RL over the coming year or so, plus NAM development, the nature how my creative process typically runs here with Tarkusian Cities (which, despite a more "regular" first half of 2011, is generally pretty sporadic), and trends in user feedback.

My process of assembling updates can, at times, prove quite laborious, particularly with the planning of my various projects, the mapmaking process, sorting through the (typically massive) array of pictures I generate over the course of gameplay to find the ones that best encapsulate my concept for the update, and, in many cases, developing new NAM items for use in my cities (which has led to quite a features you now know and love, though it was also the downfall of my first MD/CJ attempt, Argentum, which was much too predicated on that side of things).

In looking over my typical pattern of updates, and the datestamps on the sets of images in my Albums subfolders, it's very common that I do things in intense spurts. Typically, there will be a period of 1-2 weeks where there's 3-5 updates (I've never done more than 5 updates in a month), followed by a lull of anywhere from a couple weeks to (at longest) 5 months. Occasionally, as happened in 2010 (a year which only saw 5 updates total), there will be isolated updates separated by lulls. With the exception of images generated for NAM development purposes, my game image folders follow a similar pattern.

I've also gotten the impression, both from what I've heard from readers and from noting view and reply statistics, that the mindset people take into Tarkusian Cities is not the traditional "read-and-reply" approach most take into MDs/CJs. Rather, it's "view-absorb-respond", with folks typically re-reading through updates (even during "active" periods when new updates are being added), and the responses tend to spill out beyond typical replies and into other spheres in the community, including readers' own MDs/CJs, NAM development threads, Show Us threads, etc. I don't think TC has quite achieved the status of a "meta-MD/CJ" like my good friend David (dedgren) has created with Three Rivers Region, but I've gotten the feeling TC is something different than a traditional city showcase--what exactly it is, I'm not sure.

Particularly because of one non-traditional aspect of it--the timespan between updates--I've at times wondered if I'd be able to really continue TC and continue to do it proper justice. But in keeping with the "going with the grain" idea, and trying to make that grain a bit less perplexingly enigmatic to those following it, I think I've been able to come up with some idea as to what TC should look like going forward. And just as in the case of the NAM, it involves "going with the grain". Namely, it seems like acknowledging the spurt-and-lull pattern is really the most feasible and natural way to continue Tarkusian Cities.

The way I'm envisioning this is with a gradual update-assembly process, followed by an intensive posting cycle consisting of several updates over a couple week span, detailing various projects (and sometimes including non-project "tour updates", which sometimes offer a nice change of pace) separated by a planned 2-to-4-month lull, and letting the reader absorb and respond.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this, and thank you for indulging my wall-of-text musings and your continued support of Tarkusian Cities over the years. I do have some new stuff to share (as part of one of these "intensive cycles") forthcoming, including the conclusion of the 52nd Avenue project in Chemeketa.

-Alex (Tarkus)


Hi everyone-

Well, back with another update--Chemeketa has obtained the funds to continue the 52nd Avenue Widening Project, so we'll be headed out there.

Before I get really into things, I thought I'd share a little something--an updated full map of the Chemeketa Region.


52nd Avenue NE Corridor Widening Project-Phase 2 (Mosby to Scarlet)

The purpose of this project is to continue the improvements to 52nd Avenue NE in the Sorenson Creek area of North Chemeketa to facilitate faster and safer travel. As with Phase 1, which improved 52nd Avenue NE from Mosby Road to Halpert Road, the reconstructed roadway will consist of 6 travel lanes, with a raised, landscaped median and turn lanes at major intersections. As part of the project, other improvements will be made to the roadways in the vicinity of 52nd Avenue, including an extension of Scarlet Street NE south to Sorenson Creek, reconfiguration of the 52nd/Sorenson Street NE intersection, and the construction of a new connector between the Scarlet Street extension and Sorenson Street.

In order to better facilitate the construction of the new lanes while minimizing disruption, 52nd Avenue's existing 4 lanes have been narrowed, with a temporary 35mph construction speed limit in effect. This is at the intersection of Rankine Lane and 52nd (facing east). Left turns off 52nd have been proven a bit . . . interesting due to the temporary lane configuration, and Public Works has advised those heading east on 52nd to instead make a right and use the Rankine/Dallas Roundabout as a turnaround, while westbound motorists have been advised to use Aldrin Drive.


This is at the bridge over Sorenson Creek on 52nd (facing east)--the bridge will need to be reconstructed to accommodate the wider roadway. Crews have caused 52nd to "squiggle" so that they can better facilitate the widening.


This is the existing intersection at 52nd and Scarlet, the west end of the project (facing east). Scarlet will be extended to the south from this intersection. The original plans involved extending Sorenson Street northward to connect with the disconnected segment with the same name, running from Eriksen to 71st, but in order to have optimal traffic signal spacing, and to avoid the sensitive wetlands on Sorenson Creek between 52nd and Eriksen Drive NE, it was decided that an alternate plan was necessary.


Work on the extension has begun (facing east).


This is the intersection of 52nd and Sorenson with construction in progress (facing east). Sorenson's access to 52nd will be converted into a RIRO (right-in, right-out) setup, with a new connector road being constructed between Sorenson and the Scarlet extension to facilitate left-turning traffic.


This is the point where the connector road will meet Sorenson Street at a roundabout (facing east).


Construction on the roundabout and connector (all facing east):





Here's the other end of the connector, ready to be connected into the extended Scarlet Street (facing east). Full access will remain at the 52nd/Sorenson intersection until the Scarlet Street project is complete.


Work continuing on the Scarlet extension (facing east):





Because of the difficulties of staging the construction of the widened Sorenson Creek bridge on 52nd Avenue, Public Works has had to close the busy thoroughfare--a controversial decision for sure. We'll be back next time to see the aftermath.




Hi everyone-

I'm back with another installment of Tarkusian Cities--a slightly smaller one.


Tower Loop NE Extension (Heald to Ashcroft)

The Tower Loop Project will extend the eastern "stub" of Tower Loop NE (named after Poster #100 in the ST edition of Tarkusian Cities, Towerdude) from Heald Way NE to Ashcroft St NE at 75th Avenue NE, completing the loop. The area northeast of the intersection of 71st and Ashcroft has recently been purchased with the intent of building a high-tech park. The city council approved the development after the developers agreed to improve nearby roadway facilities and provide proper connectivity. In addition to the extension of Tower Loop and the construction of new local streets as part of the development, Ashcroft Street will also be widened from 2 lanes to 4 with a center turn lane from 71st to the new Heald Way extension. The dashed lines on the map indicate new roads that will be constructed as part of the project.


We'll begin with the Tower Loop Project. The city had already anticipated development on the parcel northeast of 71st and Ashcroft, and had already constructed an overpass over 71st for Tower Loop, shown below (facing east). Because of 71st Avenue's status as a surface expressway, and the fact that Tower was anticipated to have a fairly considerable traffic volume, city engineers deemed an overpass would be necessary.


Here's another look at the existing bit of Tower Loop past the overpass (facing north).


Widening work on Ashcroft Street has begun (facing north).


Here is the "intersection" at Tower Loop and Heald Way (facing north). Not really much of an intersection, but as you can see, work's begun on making it one.



Widening continues (facing north). At the bottom, you can see where Tower Loop will connect into Ashcroft, and at the top, where Heald Way will connect.



Widening has been completed on Ashcroft Street, and paving has commenced on the new section of Tower Loop (facing north).



And here is the finished product, with development going in (facing north).


And that does it for this latest project--hope you've enjoyed it! The city's gotten the funds to start on Phase 2 of the 52nd Avenue widening, so we'll be headed out there next update.

-Alex (Tarkus)


Hi everyone-

Well, I'm back here with another smaller construction project in Chemeketa, which the city is undertaking with impact fees gleaned from developers while it acquires funding to finish widening 52nd Avenue.


McCabe Street SE Extension (23rd to 33rd/Creek Way)

Below is a map illustrating the plan for this latest project--the dashed lines are roads that will be constructed as part of this update.



The McCabe Street Extension will extend McCabe Street SE from 23rd Avenue NE to 33rd Avenue NE/Creek Way NE in north-central Chemeketa. This project has been funded by two developers, one building new office space west of the extension, and another by the developers of the Starpoint subdivision to the east of the extension. In addition to the McCabe Street extension, a new local through-street, Starpoint Drive NE, will be constructed between Ashcroft St NE (at 30th Avenue), to the McCabe extension and continuing east into the subdivision.

Here's the existing curve, where 33rd Avenue NE turns into Creek Way NE (facing north). This is where the McCabe Street extension will connect in, and as you can see, work's already begun on it.


This is between 23rd and 33rd along the extension--grading and paving is underway (facing north).


Much as happened with the Dallas Drive/Rankine Lane intersection shown three updates ago, there's some unusual angles involved, and as such, engineers have chosen a roundabout intersection. (facing north) Because of the lower traffic volumes, this will only be a single-lane one. In order to facilitate construction, 33rd and Creek Way have been closed for about 6 weeks.


Work continues on the roundabout (facing north).


Construction is also underway on Starpoint Drive NE, another new connector road that will run through both the commercial and residential development. This is just to the south of the roundabout (facing north), which Starpoint will connect into as well.


Starpoint Drive NE will connect to Ashcroft Street NE, lining up at the existing 30th Avenue NE intersection (facing north).


The extended McCabe Street has been connected into the roundabout (facing north), which is now just about to open.


The western segment of Starpoint has now been connected into the roundabout (facing north).


As part of the traffic impact mitigation agreed upon by the developers, the intersection at Ashcroft with 30th/Starpoint has been signalized.


The roundabout now has the 5th connection in place--the eastern segment of Starpoint (facing north).


Finally, here are a couple images of McCabe Street all extended. Both the commercial and residential development is well underway. (both facing north)



That does it for this project--hope you enjoyed following it, and I'll be back next time with yet another construction project . . . we'll take a look at a couple more smaller ones, and then head back to 52nd Avenue.

-Alex (Tarkus)


Hi everyone-

Well, I'm back with another update here, which I think you'll really enjoy. Suffice to say, it's road construction season! And featuring some as-of-yet unreleased content!


52nd Avenue NE Widening, Phase 1 (Mosby to Halpert)

The City of Chemeketa's Department of Public Works is beginning the process of improving 52nd Avenue NE in order to better facilitate the movement of commuters and freight traffic in North and Northeast Chemeketa. As shown on the long-term project map from April, this project is marked as #4.

Alternate link to map:


As discussed in the development of previous projects, 52nd Ave NE is a major east-west surface arterial through the northern reaches of the city, connecting the predominantly residential areas to the west, up with the high-tech facilities and office parks to the east, as well as providing a link between the Chemeketa Parkway (Highway 219) and the West Oregon Freeway (Highway 15). The development on the east end has led to substantially increased traffic congestion on the section between Ashcroft Street NE and Halpert Road NE. While recent projects, including the Rankine-Sorenson Corridor Project and the Aldrin Way improvements have mitigated some of the issues along 52nd Ave, the road is still failing to meet an appropriate Level of Service (LOS).

Between the Chemeketa Parkway and Schrute Road NE, 52nd Ave is currently a 4-lane roadway with speed limits ranging between 35 and 50 miles per hour. The results of the study performed by the city and outside consultants has shown that in order to handle 2020 capacity levels with an acceptable LOS, much of the road needs to be widened to 6 lanes. The segment in particular need of such an upgrade is between Ashcroft Street to Halpert Road. Studies are still underway as to the efficacy of extending the lane additions westward toward the Chemeketa Parkway interchange.

In order to make the best use of funding and minimize disruption along all of 52nd, the project will be undertaken in phases, beginning with the eastern segment, between Mosby Road and Halpert Road. The second and third phases have yet to be funded. Phase 2 will cover the segment from Scarlet Street NE to Mosby Road, while Phase 3 will extend from Ashcroft to Scarlet. If studies determine it is necessary, a Phase 4 would cover from the Chemeketa Parkway to Ashcroft.

Here is the existing intersection with Scott Drive NE and the Highway 15 Northbound Ramps:

Facing east


Facing north


This is the existing intersection at Halpert Road NE (facing east):


Here is the existing Highway 15 overpass:

Facing east


Facing north


Construction begins. 52nd has been narrowed to 3 lanes while excavation takes place.

At Scott Drive, facing north


At Highway 15, facing north


At Mosby Road, facing north


Here are various images of construction already underway.

Facing north at Mosby and Highway 15


Facing west from Scott Drive toward Highway 15 along 52nd


Paving underway, facing west


Facing south at the 52nd/Scott intersection


The widened roadway is now in place under Highway 15 (facing north). (If you're wondering how I got the T21s, I tweaked jackxu's AVE-2 median mod on the AVE-6. These will not be in the public NWM release.)


A look along 52nd after construction (facing east)


Turn lanes going in place at the Mosby intersection (facing north). Signals have not yet been installed.


And that does it for this update. While the city accumulates more funding for Phase 2, we'll take a look at the McCabe Street extension next time. Hope you enjoyed this latest project!

One more reply and we hit #100 here at the ST edition of Tarkusian Cities . . . who will take the honors? :)



Hi everyone-

Well, I'm back again with another update . . . as the road crews were already in the vicinity, the City of Chemeketa's decided to make a few little improvements near the recently completed Rankine-Dallas Corridor Project.

This "minor" project will widen Dallas Drive NE between the Rankine Lane Roundabout and Aldrin Way NE, as well as the section of Aldrin Way NE from just south of Dallas Drive up to 52nd Avenue NE. The intersections at Dallas/Aldrin and Aldrin/52nd will also be improved accordingly. Here's the "after" map from the last update again, which should prove useful in terms of getting one's bearings for this update.


This is looking west at the project area. The main thoroughfare running through there is 52nd Avenue. The intersection in the upper left (by the office tower) is Aldrin and Dallas. As you can see, there's some construction going on around the office tower--some additional commercial office development is occurring in that vicinity, which is part of the reason for the road improvements.


A closer up view (facing west). As you can see, the Aldrin/Dallas intersection is pretty jammed up.


The building's parking lot is being reconfigured (facing west)


Widening preparation is underway on Aldrin (facing west)



A segment of Aldrin north of 52nd is getting widened, too (facing north)



Here's the Aldrin/Dallas intersection again, with Aldrin now widened to 4 travel lanes (facing north). As you can see, the parking lot expansion's been progressing steadily, too.


And here's the widened Dallas and the nice new signalized intersection (facing north).


Here's that intersection up close and personal (facing north), with a teaser of an off-again/on-again project. I made some new animated signals, and mounted them onto a mast arm assembly from my good friend Ryan B.. One of these days, I'd like to finish them up, though obviously, getting the next NAM/RHW/NWM cycle taken care of is my top priority. You'll probably see these appear sporadically in coming updates, however.


The parking lot has some imperial-expansionist tendencies, apparently (facing north). :D Due to the sheer amount of traffic that will eventually be going in and out of it, another entrance/exit point is being added to hook it into the Dallas/Rankine roundabout.



And that does it for this update. We'll be tackling a few smaller improvements and checking out some new development in Chemeketa and Vivien Heights over the next handful of updates, before delving into the big 52nd Avenue widening project. Hope you enjoyed this one!

-Alex (Tarkus)

PS: We're approaching 100 comments here--thanks for your support! And as with the SC4D edition of Tarkusian Cities, I plan to honor each 100th commenter in the ST edition with an "on-the-map" mention . . . all the more reason to come out of the lurking shadows--don't worry, I don't bite!