It's been a good six months since I last played my region of Prospect Bay intensively. When I started this MD, I had already started another, much larger region called Yakutat Bay which more and more came to consume all of my SC4 efforts as I worked on it. I'll be making an MD for that region eventually too, but first I want to round this one out a little because Prospect Bay is close to being finished.
Last time, I said that my next entry would focus on the city of Port Deliverance. I've decided against that. The city was the first that I built in the Prospect Bay region, and does not come close to living up to the standards that I build today. Plus, it's really small so there's not too much interesting to see.
In general my play style has changed a lot since I started Prospect Bay more than a year ago. It was the first region I played based on real world terrain, and also the first where I had realism and organic development at the top of my priorities list. Consequently, there are a lot of things I would do differently if I were to go about building this region again. Foremost among those are the designs for the region's freeway interchanges. I literally built out my learning process with RHW from scratch in them, and as a result they do not conform to contemporary highway standards. That's why I decided to go into the region's largest city, Lagos, and update its most important central interchange.
Here's a map of the highways in the Lagos metro area. Wide lines represent freeways while narrower lines represent at-grade alignments. As you can see, the city is still very much a work in progress with new neighborhoods in development for quite a ways along the southern urban fringe. The highway interchange I updated is the big one between Highway 1 and 24.
This is what the interchange used to look like when I built it in October, facing east. I don't think I did so badly considering that it was the first full four way interchange I built with RHW, but the positioning of the exits and entrances and the unnecessary narrowing of the roadways at certain exits certainly left something to be desired. At first I tried to rebuild the interchange from scratch a couple times, but in doing so I realized that making some simple upgrades would be a more elegant solution.
Here's how the interchange looks now. The retrofit was a pretty wide ranging project, involving rebuilding many ramp connections, widening the mainline roadways, new overpasses, acceleration lanes, merge in/merge out auxiliary lanes, fractional angle curves, and a couple minor surface street upgrades.
The eastern side of the interchange leads into a bridge approach and a partial interchange with Lagos' Market Street facing toward the bridge. As part of the upgrade I rebuilt the Market Street overpass and its bridge ramps, reconfiguring them to eliminate the need for entering and exiting traffic to make U-turns at the congested street's nearby intersections, which also saw upgades. I also improved the merge for eastbound traffic entering the Highway 1 mainline by getting rid of an extra lane that terminated at the merge point.
The southern side of the interchange was one of the trickiest to work with. I had given up on being able to use a fractional angle ramp leading into an RHW-4 split for northbound traffic trying to turn east or west when I practically built the thing by accident with not a tile to spare--the highway goes into a smooth curve just beyond the lower right edge of the screenshot. I was even able to improve the sound walls between the ramp and the neighborhood to its east.
At the western edge of the interchange is the Pine Valley Mall, the largest concentration of jobs in the city outside of the industrial port. The main improvements I made in this area consisted to building more articulated curves for the right turn ramps, building a short merge lane for traffic entering the westbound mainline on Highway 1 before it heads into a viaduct and placing cosmetic pieces. You won't believe how much of a pain it was to rebuild the central overpasses of the interchange in the same spot while widening both the surface and the overpassing lanes from one tile RHW to two tile RHW! It felt like I spent half an hour frantically clicking around.
There were more subprojects in this update, but that about covers the main and most interesting ones. I chronicled everything else related to the update in a short series of gameplay/commentary videos, if you're interested check them out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WslD4pd14Wk. I hope you guys enjoyed the entry, if so I plan to bring you more of this style from Lagos and Prospect Bay soon.
As an added bonus, here's a dusty old screenshot of Lagos' industrial port from October, again facing east:
I have a heck of a lot of work ahead of me with bringing this sector of the city up to my current standards, including an already commenced dredging project for the channel in front of the container cranes and a widening project for Highway 24, so don't judge!