My computer woes are over and it's back to the grind for this CJ. Today, I've got a special treat for you all. If you'll recall, we had just seen Jackson City, which you all had chosen. But now it's my turn to choose And I choose option B.....
Some background about the Aiport Expressway...
The Airport Expressway was not initially planned for, like so many other Paradise freeways. This one was built as the roads into the city became congested, especially from the south. City planners came together to discuss the route of the new road and what it would do. At first the road was to be completely all freeway, but the residents of Clearyville and Riverside Heights shot that idea down, protesting of the noise and extra traffic. So Airport Expressway became the first freeway to not be a complete freeway. From its beginning at I-1 to the Capital Beltway it would be a surface street with limited access, transitioning to a freeway and terminating at the Great Northeast Road at a roundabout, where it would turn into Airport Blvd.
This map shows the inital plan.
This map shows the route after it was finished. Red lines are unconstructed ramps, purple lines are modified ramps, and green lines are new ramps.
Airport Expwy actually starts here, but it was decided that the whole of the thoroughfare would be named Airport Expwy to avoid confusion and for quick identification from I-1. the section to the west was called Randall Av.
Although this is the first exit, Airport Expwy is not a freeway yet. It was decided that an interchange here would be best for bypassing this area in the future, when more people moved in.
The next bit of distance is quite boring,considering there's no development yet. Most freeway construction tends to happen before anyone moves in. No one can complain about a freeway when the freeway was there first.
The freeway can technically be said to said to start at Belluterrian Blvd, but the surface road speed limit of 35 mph still applies until the merge from the beltway. A simple fork is here for folks coming from the beltway and I-2.
The Capital Beltway interchange. I should explain the logic behind the interchanges coming up. With 3 exceptions, they are all partial, as most of the missing movements are made redundant by its other interchanges. There is no numbering, as most interchanges do not have all their ramps anyway. For example, this one only has southbound slips, because all access from the south is provided by Southern Blvd (Rt 6/the diagonal avenue above) and Belluterrian Blvd.
As we head into Norwood's limits, the speed limit increases and we are officially on the freeway portion of Airport Expwy.
Now we come to the major part of this interchange, which is saying something, as it's not a full interchange at all. The interchange with I-2 has actually not changed much as there is still full access to I-2. However freeflow connections were provided for the more sense making routes, north to west, south to east, and vice versa, with Airport Expwy being the N-S route.
The I-2 interchange was modified from its initial purpose of servicing the former Airport Blvd to servicing Snerp Rd. which was extended.
The half diamond with Raven Av provides access for southbound travellers to the local road network.
Farther north comes the most complex interchange on the freeway. Here the Airport Expwy interchanges with the Norwood-Woodbine Frwy, which is also carrying the Great East Road out from the capital. From the south you can only go east as going west would only drop you on I-2,where it ends. Southbound gets both options. this interchange is weaved in with the one for Carreon Av. (Rt 4) which heads to Woodbine too, but with more traffic lights.
The situation before the freeway moved through, as you may remember from update 32, was this:
After crossing the Johnson River, it has a standard folded diamond with North Coast Rd., the western end of Rt 9.
The last interchange is with I-302, the Gateway Frwy and a local road, Cornwall Av. As you can imagine, most people get off here to head to the airport.
The steep hills here made the long ramps necessary.
I-302 WB got an extra ramp, that it would have otherwise lost.
Airport Expwy is the first and only freeway in Paradise that ends at a roundabout.
That's all, I hoped you enjoyed it.......
I've decided to include a video tour of the Airport Expwy. As with most of my 'firsts' I hope you can bear with my rookie mistakes.