Cape May County's transportation network has changed relatively little in the 300 plus years of its existance. Before the coming of the Europeans, the Lenni Lenape natives had built an extensive network of trails across southern New Jersey. These were used for their seasonal migrations to the coast in early summer , where they would hunt, fish and collect shells for making wampum. These trails, generally two to three feet across, traversed the easiest paths, avoiding swamps, creeks and other difficult terrain. When the first settlers arrived in the mid 17th century, they gradually widened and improved the native trails, but the region's heavy rainfall ( about 40 inches per year) often turned these paths into rivers of mud. Early roads , particularly in marshy areas , were of courdoroy construction, where logs of cedar and pine were cut from neighboring forests and laid to provide a more stable path. When these logs had sunken into the mud, another layer was simply added atop the old layers.
Remains of a courdoroy road lie preserved in the mud along the banks of Dennis Creek near Dennisville.
In 1697, the West Jersey colonial assembly decided to extend the King's Highway from its southern end at Salem to Cape May in an effort to end the isolation of the county from the rest of the colony. The costs for construction and maintainence was to be bourne by county residents until the land in the interior could be settled. In 1707 the highway was completed. Another road, following the Delaware Bayshore was built shortly thereafter. Stagecoach lines from Cooper's Ferry (present day Camden, across the river from Philadelphia) to Cape May began regular runs by 1765. By the 19th century, turnpike companies were formed, building improved roads and charging tolls for thier use. Most of these enterprises failed, as low mileage and usage failed to generate enough capital for maintainence.
In the mid 19th century, the first railroads were completed in the region, with the West Jersey RR building a line from Camden to Cape May in 1857. It was soon joined by the Pennsylvania RR .Passengers, mail, timber and seafood were the primary cargoes. Many of the island resort towns were built when local entepreneurs convinced the railroads to build a line to thier new seaside resort hotels. The railroads enjoyed a profitable time for many years, until the coming of the automobile in the early 20th century. In 1894, the New Jersey Department of Public Roads was created, establishing a network of state roads. With the exception of the Garden State Parkway ( built in 1953) most of the state roads follow closely to the paths of the first roads in South Jersey. Route 9 is the oldest road to paralell the Atlantic Coast from Cape May to New York. Route 47 follows the path of the first road from Camden to Cape May. In 1926, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge over the Delaware River between Philadelphia and Camden was completed, opening southern New Jersey to economic development. This ended the railroad's dominance and by the mid 1930's, West Jersey RR ceased service to Cape May County. The Pennsylvania- Reading Seashore Line continued passenger service to Wildwood until the mid 1970's , but all rail service in the county ceased shortly thereafter. The Cape May Seashore Line, more a tourist attraction than a commuter service, began operations in 1996 between Cape May Court House and Cold Spring. In 1999, service was extended into Cape May city. In 2005, mechanical difficulties with the swinging drawbridge over the Cape May Canal prevented service to Cape May, and in 2007 a severe nor'easter damaged the tracks and left the railroad's locomotives stranded in Tuckahoe ( 5 miles north of Woodbine) After a series of setbacks, the CMSL resumed service between Rio Grande and Cape May in 2010.
Sources Wikipedia ( Cape May Seashore Line)
SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY and the DELAWARE BAY Historic Themes and Resources within the New Jersey Coastal Heritage Trail Route
road network in the northern part of the region.
Sim road network (northwest)
road network, northeast region. Exit numbers on the Garden State Parkway are listed in miles from it's southern end, just north of Cape May ( EXIT 0 )
road network, southern end of the region
Sim version. As you can see, it's mostly incomplete. Roads were placed here mainly to aid in locating terrain features.
Markus J : Thanks ! I've lived in the area most of my life, and have this is my third try at recreating what's here ( well, 5 times if you count my attempts with SC 2K and SC 3K) I think I finally got it right this time.
Mastof : Thank you ! I'm hard at work pushing my way southward along the Cape. It's the positive comments and encouragement I've been recieving that keeps me going.
SimCoug : There ya go, one transportation update . As for the mapping process, it started with a small scale county street map. After determining scale ( I used a tract neighborhood I knew well, then figured a block to be 5 tiles wide : street- and two 1x2 res idential lots) , I laid the tile pattern over the street map, knowing small tiles are 64x64, mediums 128x128, and large 256x256. Then I laid down an 8x8 street grid on the game cities and a corresponding grid on my street map. After that, it was simply a matter of tracing what was on my street map to the in game grid, using the mayor's terraforming tools rather than the god mode ones ( it allows for more precise control). When I ran out of cash I blew up the city and started again. It took eighteen months to complete.
NMUSpidey : Thank you very much !
MilitantRadical : Glad to help . Just a word of warning... the ArtGolf holes are huge, and can eat up a large chunk of your tiles.
Benedict : Thanks !