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Ad Astra per Aspera

Entries in this City Journal


Hello Simtropians and Thessalonians! Today I have some images of the very first completed phase of Project TREX (Transportation Expansion). The final project will encompass about 26 km of highway with the ultimate goal to maintain these basic standards through out the entire project area:

* Both Express (High Speed) and Local Access lanes

* Minimum of of 3 Express lanes and 2 Local Access lanes in each direction

* Safety features designed to allow speeds of up to 200 km/h on Express Lanes and 125 km/h on Local Access Lanes

* Funding for this project is being provided by the federal government under the condition that a right-of-way is left open to allow for future construction of high-speed rail

Eventually all limited-access highways in the region will be upgraded to these standards as need and growth permits (except the downtown M3 Bypass).

First, here is an overview map showing the project area. The green portion is Phase 1 and is already complete.


We placed Phase I in the city of Meteora because this is the busiest section on the entire project. In addition, the existing right-of-way is the wider in this area than anywhere else on the project, so minimal demolition was necessary. Below is an aerial of the section.

Currently, the Local Access and Express lanes merge into a single standard highway at the borders of Meteora. Once other sections are completed, that will no longer be the case.


Lastly, here is an old file image of the area before construction. There were Express Lanes here before the project, but on a much smaller scale.



I bring you the long awaited Thessaloniki International Airport (THX). This is my first serious attempt at a custom airport, so feedback is wanted! Let's start with a general overview image. You will also see a large nature preserve near the airport - it was required in exchange for receiving federal funding for the airport's construction.


Here is our main terminal and entrance.


Long term parking facility: (Thanks Mike from SC4D for the AWESOME garages!)


A couple night shots:



Lastly, here is 8th Of July Road. This is basically a spur off the M2 to provide direct freeway access to the airport. It was named for the anniversary of the President's marriage. Note how the inbound lanes cross over the outbound lanes to provide easy curb-side access to the terminal.



The Parthenon

Standing at 202 stories, The Parthenon is the shining beacon for luxury living. It features stunning views across the bay and the city. Rumour has it the tower's lights can even be seen in space! The tower consists of three "wings" with a unit taking up 1 floor of each wing. Here are the units available along with starting prices:

* Floors 2-29: 2 bedroom, 1 bath,

* Floors 30-69: 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath, study,

* Floors 70-101: 3 bedroom, 2 bath,

* Floor 102: Common area featuring a fitness center, business center, conference rooms, children's play area, and pool/spa

* Floors 103-120: 3 bedroom, 2 bath, study,

* Floors 121-149: 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath,

* Floors 150-179: 3 bedroom, 2 bath - open floor plan,

* Floors 180-200: Build to suit - These units can be custom designed to suit your desires!

* All prices subject to change and availability. Prices listed are entry-level for each unit class, higher prices for higher floors



New Downtown M3 Bypass

For many years, the M3 ran from the southwest up into downtown, turned into a surface street (Mariners' Avenue), went around the waterfront, and finally resumed its course north as a motorway again. This gap in the motorway system has finally been closed via a new stretch constructed as a double-decker dual carriageway. See the inset in the image below for a map of the general area. New construction is highlighted in red.


Here is the exit at Broadway. We had to raze a swath of land one full city block in width to construct the motorway and few people wanted to build directly adjacent to it. So, much of this strip has been converted to open spaces and parkland. This also helps dampen the sound.


Here is M3 at Emporia.


Below we have the northern end of the project. The old portion (coming from the left) is no longer signed as the M3 and is now simply just Mariner's Parkway. The new portion begins as a double decker in the upper right.


Lastly, we have the southern terminus. This was one of the more complicated interchanges I have made.


PS: About the lack of signs, the State DOT workers were on their coffee break when they were being passed out :P . Rest assured, they are being installed as we speak :) .



MASSIVE PROGRESS ​since I took a sabbatical from posting updates. We have a population of over 8 million and the inner urban core essentially filled in. Things to come:

* Outer suburban fill

* Complete
roadmap for the entire region

* Artificial Dubai-style islands (?)

* Large international airport to replace the existing facility

Of course with all "promises" I make - subject to my own personal time availability! Suggestions and input welcome and encouraged!



Welcome to Ampelokipoi! I have been away for a while due to work, but I am eager to resume showcasing the Thessaloniki region!


Above we have a broad cross-section of the city. It has a lot of variety for a small suburb to the urban core. From bottom to top, we have the very edge of the Port of Thessaloniki (continued on next tile), a closely packed coastal area with commercial and residential, and mixed developments up the hillside. High-rises are limited and placed strategically so as to not disrupt the views of the villas.

Steeplechase Neighbourhood


Taking a closer look, we have the Steeplechase Neighbourhood above. It features one of the many "pocket downtowns" that are starting to crop around the region. If you look closely, you can see a full wye interchange. The M-2 motorway runs from the left down to the bottom of the image and the eastern terminus of the M-5 is nestled closely with the hills, trees, and buildings.



Pefka sits on the very western edge of Thessaloniki. It is still largely undeveloped - only a small area of low density residential and commercial exists along SW Broadway and SW/NW 103rd Avenue. Pefka is certainly a place known for its simpler, slower, and almost idealistic way of life. SW Broadway is reduced to four lanes for the first time since downtown Thessaloniki Proper before it crosses the river.


The other side of the river is all farmland, and here is where SW Broadway finally splits off into Rural Routes 7 and 5.




Pylaia is a suburb towards the western edge of Thessaloniki. It encompasses the area highlighted in red below.



Pylaia is served by the M-5 and M-4 freeways as shown below. The M-5 will eventually become a complete ring road as development spreads around the bay while the M-4 is the smaller spur route. Major arterials include NW 68th Avenue and NW Oleson (2800 N). Not pictured below, but NW Avenue of the Roses (aka NW 82nd Avenue) passes through.

Parks and Developments

Pylaia currently has the largest open park in the area. It sits on NW 68th Avenue and NW Oleson Road and is pictured below. Despite being a suburb, there is a small cluster of high rises around the park. Developers found the park attractive in addition to the higher quality schools and strong local economy. Analysts predict this will be where Thessaloniki's "Silicon Valley" will grow. With 328,000 Sims living in Pylaia already, there is still plenty of room and developers are scrambling to plat the remaining open spaces.



Here is a narrow development that straddles Neapoli and Thessaloniki Proper. Marina Village was originally just an neighbourhood, part of Neapoli and Thessaloniki. However, with a booming population, the citizens decided to incorporate in a referendum passed recently.

Although Marina Village is mostly residential towers, there are a few companies that have headquartered themselves here due to favourable corporate taxes. However, about 90% of the residents still commute into Thessaloniki Proper and elsewhere.

This community is served primarily by the M-3 Freeway leading straight into downtown Thessaloniki and Thessaloniki Bay Area Ferries (TBAF).



I had a commenter ask for some more day shots, so here are a couple (well, more afternoon/pre-sunset). This is still within the boundaries of the city proper, but off to the northwest from previous entries. First, we have the Allianz Arena which sits on the suitably named NW Stadium Way (2800 West).


Here is the World's Tower. Currently the largest single building in Thessaloniki by floor space. It hosts office, hotel, and retail. It is said that in some rooms, a single night can cost more than bell boy's annual salary!



Here is the regional overview as of today, 18th April 2012. The entire region is actually much larger than this - I will be revealing more as areas are developed. To give you an idea on the total approximate size of the region, what is seen here is half of the bay.




Here is an incredibly large mosaic of the massive suburb of Meteora. It straddles SW Broadway from 54th to 89th Avenues. There is a mix of wide open spaces and cramped low-rise apartments. 491,011 people call Meteora home today.

Going north-south is SW Avenue of the Roses (SW 82nd Ave) and Broadway going east-west. There is also a glimpse of the ring freeway, the M-5.



Downtown at Night

The image below is quite large, so prepare to click on it and maximise your browser! As you can see, we have a Hong-Kong style skyline here - countless tall buildings glistening like a field of stars!

The six-lane avenue is the major artery for the region going east-west - SW Broadway. It lays on the 800 block south and traverses the the region from the downtown waterfront out into the country. The four-lane avenue going north-south is SW Marginal Way. It occupies the 800 block going west.

Toward the lower-centre left we have Grand Terminal Station and the University of Thessaloniki.




Welcome to Thessaloniki


The following pages will contain the story of the small nation of Thessaloniki. The region has already experienced explosive growth before the start of this journal, so some introductory information is in order. Also note, since I am just starting this journal, I do have lots of pictures to take, edit, and post here. Expect a rapid-fire of entries over the coming days.

Population (as of 17 April 2012): 5,155,052

National Motto: Ad astra per aspera (Latin for "To the stars through adversity")

Flag: Pictured Above

Table of Contents

General Preview Images

I have posted various images from Thessaloniki all over the forums. Here are a few now as a preview.


Here is the small community of Evosmos during a flood. This is on the far outskirts of the country.



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