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United States of Simerica (USN)--Update 13: My First Cloverleaf interchange

Started by compdude787, July 22, 2014, 05:57:32 PM

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So, being that I'm now part of the newly created alliance called the United Sim Nations, I thought it's about time I start a MD of my own. Although I only have one region right now, I'm have ideas for several others in my mind, and they'd all be part of the same nation, which is called the United States of Simerica. It's my fictional country and doesn't really resemble the real United States at all, except that it has the same sort of road numbering system, but all the mileposts and exit numbers are in kilometers, not miles. Metric system FTW! Here's the flag: (very original, huh?)

So I've been playing SimCity 4 since around 2005 and never really mastered the game. I could never make money and my cities would go broke as a result and I don't know how many times I'd end up obliterating them and starting over. I lost interest in SC4 as a result and stopped playing 2 1/2 years ago. I re-installed it on my laptop this past February and with the help of one of Dwyrin's YouTube videos, I've been making money ever since. I got into custom content shortly thereafter with the RTMT and NAM being my first downloads ever, and began experimenting with the RHW, NWM and other NAM components.

I quickly found that the default Maxis "Timbuktu" region was completely unsuitable for doing anything with the RHW because of the steep slopes in many places and the fact that it didn't have any large city tiles. So I ditched it and downloaded the Lamont region off of the STEX mainly because it was a lot flatter but still had mountains which would be a lot of fun to build scenic highways through. I added some smaller rivers to it and plan to add a few more hills as well. Here's how the region looks as of July 21st, 2014:

The biggest city is smack-dab in the middle, and it's called Twin Forks because it's where the two forks of the river meet. To the north at the foot of a mountain range called Peyton Mts. is a suburban area called Mountain View. The currently lonely town at the northeast corner of the map is called Lamont and I plan to make that into another big city and the capital of Simerica. It will also have a big port as well.

I'm really into creating freeways since I'm a big roadgeek and aspiring highway engineer, so interchanges, roads, and maps will be a big part of this CJ. Yeah, there's going to be other stuff too...maybe. :)

I'll start off with some assorted shots from around the region. First, we have a scenic Fall shot of Interstate 5 snaking through the Peyton Mountains. Click to view these images at full resolution.

The next few pictures show parts of my biggest city, Twin Forks. This is the CBD currently (still can't seem to get skyscrapers to grow yet):

The intersection at the north end of the arch bridge leading into downtown is the most congested in the city. Accidents happen regularly because of the amount of congestion. Even building another bridge into downtown (the diagonal one) hasn't done much to reduce traffic at this intersection, so plans are being drawn up to build a partial interchange here.

One of I-5's interchanges downtown. You can see the NAM Engineering's offices in the roundabout, where highway engineers are coming up with plans for an interchange at the north end of the blue arch bridge.

This is a residential area in the east part of Twin Forks near the industrial area. The Crosstown Expressway is seen in this picture which runs from I-5 through the CBD and across a bridge to the industrial area. Most of it is elevated, but here it turns into more of a parkway as it runs through this residential area.

In the northern part of Twin Forks is the residential area, ranging from highrise apartment buildings to single family homes:




The railroad serves as a dividing line between the old and new suburbs. The grid ends on the north side of the tracks.

I-5 goes across the river on two concrete arch bridges with a total of ten lanes to carry people to and from their jobs in the CBD:

This is a mosaic of the freeway from the bridge north:

And another mosaic of the interchange between I-5 (running top to bottom) and the I-20 East-West Corridor, which runs through many of the USN's member regions:

Further east on I-20, you'll find this interchange as I-20 turns north when it meets another freeway that goes around the east side of Twin Forks: (area has been developed since this picture was taken)

That's it for now. I hope you guys enjoy my MD, and I'd appreciate your comments and suggestions. Thanks!
Check out my MD, United States of Simerica!
Last updated: March 5, 2017

My YouTube Channel


WOW! ;D Welcome to the MD world! This MD looks like it's going to be really good! I'm sorry to ask but, where did you get the diagonal bridge? I have never seen one EVER. Anyway, great MD! I'll be looking out for this one! ;)


Nice start, good use of various NAM components. Looking forward to more! :thumbsup:
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana


You've made a nice start to your MD, compdude787. That's a clever flag you have there, and an interesting region map. I envy you your ability to use the new NAM so successfully, but I suggest you try and get some traffic on the highways and byways to make your photos really pop. Also, I suggest you number your photos. The numbers make it so much easier to comment on individual shots.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work.



Nice start. Your anti-grids are really inspiring. :thumbsup:
Just wandering around like a teddy bear running around the garden. :P

"The greatest things in life are those that we have deemed unexpected yet are worth it."  - Anonymous


So welcome back to Simerica. Here's another update from me. But first, the obligatory replies.


ユミーちゃん: Thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying this MD so far. The diagonal bridge was created using the Diagonal Bridge Enabler.

vortext: Thanks! It was quite a learning curve for me to get this good at using the NAM and particularly the RHW. I still had to rage-quit SC4 after an hour of frustration trying to build both of those big RHW interchanges, so it took me several days to finish them.

Jmouse: Thanks! I'm happy to be getting better with the NAM and RHW; it's a big learning curve, that's for sure. I appreciate your suggestions. I've numbered my photos this time and edited my first post to add numbers to the pictures. I've also increased the "number of cars/sims" setting to high, so hopefully you'll see more cars on the roads this time. However, some freeways still lead to undeveloped areas, so you won't see cars on them anyway, and I think I took a few of these pictures before changing the "# of Cars/Sims" setting.

jmsepe: Glad you like the grid-breaking. I like it too! It's so much more satisfying to create suburbs with the NAM. Grids look nice, too, since they convey the feeling of an older area, but grids can't and shouldn't be everywhere.

Update 2: More views of Twin Forks and Lynden
Okay, now onto the second update. This is just going to be more of a showcase of pictures from Twin Forks again as well as from the neighboring city to the northeast, Lynden. Sorry, no interchanges this time. :( I've built some, but they don't have lights, signage, or development around them yet. Their completion will probably warrant another update pretty soon.

First off, I'll just show you some more shots from Twin Forks. This one shows some riverfront properties and a road going along the riverbank. I like building roads that go along the riverside.

Here's another shot of the CBD of Twin Forks. Yeah, I know, those are such tall buildings--NOT! I guess I need a higher regional population. But anyway, the Crosstown Expressway runs across this picture, connecting the CBD with the industrial area on the other side of that arch bridge (you can tell I really like arch bridges :D ).

If you look on the left side of the picture, you can see part of the interchange between the Crosstown Expressway and I-5. It sucks right now; I plan to partially reconstruct it soon, and I'll give it an extreme makeover once NAM 33 comes out and I'll have more elevated ramp pieces to use.

Okay on to the next picture. You can see more of that beautiful arch bridge across the river, :D as well as part of the industrial area. I know that the Maxis seaport is probably making you guys cringe, but it's just temporary. In the future, freight from the industrial area will be taken by rail and truck to the real seaport located in the coastal city of Lamont, which will be built soon.

The shot below is of the same spot as Image 1.9 in the last update. In an effort to spruce up this area of town, a developer has recently torn down several of those dumpy highrise apartments and built some nicer condos in their place. With the increase of well-paying jobs in the city, many of the residents of those old buildings had the money to move into the new condos or into other houses, so ultimately those people are now better off than they were before. :) People here also enjoy the short commute into downtown, another one of the perks of living here.

With that, I leave you with a parting shot of Twin Forks, a view of the entire city. It's far from finished as you can tell, but it's getting there.

Okay, now we move onto Lynden, which is located to the northeast of Twin Forks. Here you can see lots of moving trucks full of all the stuff that Sims have for their newly-built homes here.

So this is what happens when you zone a whole bunch of 1x1 residential zones: you get nothing but repetition in the form of bungalows and trees placed in the exact same spot on every lot. I think I need to find some more 1x1 residential lots; if anybody has any suggestions for something to download, I'd appreciate it. (couldn't find anything with a quick search of the STEX)

Zoom out showing more of that neighborhood:

A residential area on the other side of the freeway. People here really like swimming pools, it seems.

And now, here's a bridge along this yet to be numbered freeway. I'm not a big fan of cable-stayed bridges IRL, but I gotta admit that this one in the NAM just looks awesome. The touch of elegance on its towers really goes a long way in making it look nice.

The elegant cable-stayed bridge really fits in nicely with the equally elegant arch bridge just downstream:

Notice something cool I did here with this bridge? Yup, I put an avenue under it. Wha--how do you do that?! :O Well, out of the kindness of my heart, I will tell you. I downloaded the Under bridge Lots off of a Japanese website, http://klex.blog85.fc2.com/. Use Google Translate to read it unless you're familiar with Japanese; there's several other things here that this guy has made that might interest you.

These under bridge lots are overhanging lots for transportation networks and they convert it to subway to allow commuters to go under the bridge, so it's actually functional and not just eye-candy. This really adds to realism since I can think of so many examples of real-life bridges of significant length and height where roads go under the bridge. I can't think of many bridges where this isn't the case.

I hope you enjoyed this second update, and I'd appreciate your comments and suggestions.
Check out my MD, United States of Simerica!
Last updated: March 5, 2017

My YouTube Channel


Hugging the coastline (2.1) reminds me of my own building style. Is your CBD (2.5) mostly C**? or is some of it residential? I tend to put mid-rise apartments near the waterfront hoping to increase demand, but I don't know if it helps or not. I like your neighborhoods (2.8-2.9). Once again, I tend to leave more space for trees, and often obscure the view too much, but I'm in the throes of relearning how to play the game and finding a style all my own.

Nice update. I like it.


I like what I see! Your cities are quite simple, but nice to look at; they harken back to the earlier days of Sim City and really bring forth a nostalgic vibe in the way they are built.  &apls


Very NICE update CompDude!  Totally USN Quality!  Looking forward to seeing some of your regional scenes featured in the USN  Group Diary!  PM me later!


Once again, hello and welcome back to Simerica. It's been a little longer than I'd hoped between updates, but I went on vacation for a week in mid-August and again on Labor Day weekend so I didn't get much chance to play SC4. Now that I've finally got some time, I'll post my update. First, let's do the replies:

Joan (Jmouse): Glad you like my building style, and interesting to see that it is similar to yours. I actually tried zoning high-density residential in my CBD and it worked okay, but took a while to grow. (I guess that's to be expected; for me, new residential zones always take forever to grow) It didn't really increase demand for tall buildings though, but I think I'll keep doing it anyway since it's pretty realistic to have apartment buildings right in a downtown area.

Bipin: Thanks! I gotta point out that I don't think my use of the RHW, the NWM, and TuLEPs hearkens back to SC4's early days, because many of the features I use didn't exist back then. :) However, Twin Forks was a city I built at a time when I didn't have much custom content yet, so many of the buildings are mostly Maxis buildings. (and I still don't have many highrise BATs yet) Likewise, the techniques I used to build it were pretty characteristic of that of a new player.

SimRico: Glad to hear that it is up to USN's stringent quality standards! :D

Update 3: A tour through small towns and farms
So this update will show off all the farm towns that I have in my region so far. I currently have three of them and they don't take that long to complete. They are medium tiles, so there's that too.

But anyway, let's take a tour of these three cities. We start out from Twin Forks and head north on I-5 to Mountain View, which is a suburb of Twin Forks and you'll see it in a later update. Next, we begin to climb the Peyton Mountains and marvel at the beautiful scenery that you can see from I-5.

After we get over the Peyton Mountain summit (elevation 279.1m, 915 feet, according to TerrainQuery) we now descend towards the town of Sleepy Hollow. Whoa, looks like the season just changed back to summer from fall! :o

So we get off at the exit and take a right to head into the town booming metropolis of Sleepy Hollow, population 1,636.



Okay, that's it for Sleepy Hollow. Let's move on to the town to the north, called Farmville (best name ever! ()stsfd() ). First, here's a picture of a typical farm near Farmville:

Here's the interchange that we pass by on the road between Sleepy Hollow and Farmville. This road that we're on used to be the main highway from Twin Forks before the freeway was built in the 60s.


Here's an overview of the town Farmville, population 3,124. The mayor told me to tell you guys that this town borders another larger city to the north with a population of between 25 and 50K but I don't know what he's talking about. ()what() I guess that town hasn't been built yet. (shh, says the mayor, you weren't supposed to say that)


Downtown Farmville:

Last, but not least, here's an overview shot of Farmville:

Okay, now the last town on our itinerary is Wayne's Ferry, so named because this is where a ferry crosses the river. Run by the Wayne Ferry Company and subsidized by the county, it was originally started by Joseph Wayne many years ago, and the ferry business continues to be owned and operated by the Wayne family to this day.

After taking I-5 south back to Sleepy hollow, we take a right and go west on the road to Wayne's Ferry. So, welcome to the town of Wayne's Ferry.

Like many of these towns, Wayne's Ferry gets much of its power from the sun's rays. Speaking of which, looks like the sun's out, because now you can see shadows on the ground. (or maybe the mayor just turned on the shadows on his computer, but don't tell anyone else I said that)

Let's drive down to the ferry dock and take a ride on the ferry.



Here's what you can see on the west side of the river:


3.18 (whoa, the seasons just changed again!)

Now, if we go back across the ferry, and south of town, this is what you'll see:


Whew, that was quite the tour. I hope you all had fun and enjoyed the tour and I'll see you soon. Any comments and suggestions would be appreciated!

Check out my MD, United States of Simerica!
Last updated: March 5, 2017

My YouTube Channel


Wow!   Love the update!   Acrually the last two are excellent!  Looks like weather's changing early up in the Peyton Mtns!  Might be a rough winter brewing.  Will have to pass the word along to folks back home to stock up on sand gravel and get those tire chains out , that I-5 route  to I-20 interchange always ice-over and no other way in or out of town!

Farmville, Simerica is one of the major cities we go to when purchasing cars at "Knoff's Auto Sales".  Sending mechanics from "16Minute Man Specialty Cars" to town to strike up a deal on two of those antiques we were interested in during my last visit!


time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana


Awesome work  &apls &apls  I really like all the smooth curves and fractional angles used and the way the lots around them fit so nicely. And I'm loving the mountain highway and your RHW interchange work  :thumbsup:


Great city Compdude! Great work with the RHW, you're a natural! I love how you have complete disregard to the cities grid with those smooth curves, diagonals and far neighbourhoods. Keep it up, looks great!


Nice rural area. I love the smooth RHW interchange.

Nice idea to use the avenue to connect the ferry terminal. It's a custom LOT though? I don't remember the road connection being made with avenue...
I'll take a quiet life... A handshake of carbon monoxide.

Props & Texture Catalog


Hello, and welcome back to Simerica. First let's start out with replies to all you wonderful people:

SimRico: Well, the Peyton Mountain summit isn't that high--as I said in the last update, it's only about 900 feet above sea level--so it is perfectly fine during the winter. And the weirdness with the seasons was because I came up with the "tour" idea as I was posting the last update, after I'd already uploaded all the pics. I should have made sure that the seasons were consistent in all my city tiles and photos.

But anyway, thanks for the comment and glad you like my updates!

Erik (Vortext): Thanks, I think they're pretty nice, too! When it comes to farms, it's amazing what some SPAM can do. :D

Noah: When I saw that you'd posted here on my MD, I was like "Ooh, I've gotten the attention of one of the RHW masters! ()stsfd()" I really like Siilijoki too and I've used it and NORO, as sources of much inspiration. Also, Maarten's videos of him building suburbs in NORO have been really neat to see too, and have really influenced the way that I build my suburbs. And there's also something else in his videos that influenced something I did in this update. Hmm, what could it be?

Selles: Thanks! You're right in that I'm getting to be a natural with the RHW (not without the frustration that is standard operating procedure). I'm getting to the point where I constantly feel that I'm pushing the limits of the mod, since it seems like I'm always trying to do something that's never been done before. ("What? there's no puzzle pieces for that, either?!?!") Trying to break the grid with RHW is particularly hard, especially considering that RHW-6S is the widest RHW that has diagonal ramp interfaces. In spite of that, I always like to kill the grid because it makes my freeways look more realistic and organic.

Arthur: Thanks! Having a ferry terminal transit-enabled for an avenue does make a lot more sense than two roads coming out. Fixing this was on my SC4 modding bucket list, until I went on the STEX one day and discovered that someone else beat me to it.

And now...drumroll please.....

Update 4: "Bridges" inspired by Noroway...

So some of Simerica's highway engineers recently took a trip to the city of Noroway, aka the NORO Cooperative, that is currently being built on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. The engineers and mayors of NORO Cooperative are highly respected throughout the SimWorld because of their amount of talent they possess at creating good-looking cities and amazing transportation networks. So, as one might expect, our engineers were really impressed with what they saw, especially the bridges over small bodies of water, and they just had to incorporate that in Simerica, using the same cutting-edge techniques that are used in Noroway.

Here is the end result. Just a few pictures, but as they say, it's quality over quantity that matters...



Of course, all the roadgeeks in Simerica and a few other people in the news media were impressed with these bridges, with the Twin Forks Tribune calling them "an engineering marvel of efficiency and simplicity." Everyone wanted to know how this was done. Eventually the engineers reluctantly produced a link to a YouTube video showing how this was done in Noroway, courtesy of a Norowegian engineering and construction company called MandelSoft Engineering and Construction. You can view the video here and sit back and relax as you watch a recording of the bridges being built in real time. ;D

And before I leave you, here's one more shot of the river flowing through the delta, just maybe a hundred meters downstream from those bridges. Those kayakers are paddling up to those new bridges to check them out:

I haven't done much city development; mainly I've been building a freeway to connect Twin Forks with the soon-to-be-city of Lamont on the coast. This is also the first week of classes at my college (Fall Qtr just started this past Monday), so now I'm going to be spending a lot of my time at school and studying, and less time playing SC4. ()sad()  I'll try not to totally let this MD languish though....

Well, that concludes this update. Hope you enjoyed, your comments and suggestions are much appreciated!
Check out my MD, United States of Simerica!
Last updated: March 5, 2017

My YouTube Channel


WOW!  Who said regions in the USN arent remarkable!?!  CompDude, this is EXCELLENT!  I can learn a lot from you and T-Buff! I like the flow of the terrain under the freeways and of course the roadways themselves are a work of art!

I love that last pic where the guy is fishing at the edge of the lake (betcha didnt think i saw that) and the canoes!  Are those lilypads on the water?  What water mod are you using. i like it!

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: &apls


This is really outstanding man  &apls  I don't mean to sound pretentious saying this, but I don't think the similar bridges we made in Noroway look any better than yours here. Really, really nice man. Thanks for the compliments about NORO and Siilijoki, btw, much appreciated :) 

I would suggest you turn off the wave effect when showing rivers, creeks, and small bodies of water. And if your engineers were going for 100% points they could alter their slope mod for pic 3 to use the whole area between the underpass and creek to take advantage of the whole area available for a gradual horizontal slope.

Looking forward to what's next if RL doesn't get the best of you ;)


So, after two months, it's about time I update this MD. Haven't made a whole ton of progress, but I have done some work with the industrial area in Twin Forks that I want to show you. First, let's do replies:

SimRico: Thanks, I really appreciate the ten thumbs up! :D And yes, those are lilypads on the water. And the water mod I'm using is the PEG Brigantine Water Mod.

Noahclem: Thanks for the comments, and I really appreciate the Karma point! Good suggestions, I've turned off the wave effect, and I've smoothed out the slope a bit on that incline. Hopefully it'll look better now. I really have drawn a lot of inspiration from NORO, and Maarten's videos from NORO really influenced how I build suburbs and awesome RHW interchanges. And Siilijoki is just amazing and having read thru your entire MD, I gotta say that this photo is one of the best shots I've ever seen in SC4. Not only is the RHW just so impressive, but the fact that this is two city tiles, and it's very hard to tell where the boundary is between the two city tiles.

And now...

Update 5: Twin Forks' Industrial Area

So, in this update, I'll be showing off the work I've done with the industrial area in my main city Twin Forks. I've been expanding it lately to provide extra jobs and have added fillers everywhere.

But before I show you that, I'm going to show you a new, more current, region view. Though I haven't posted a region view since I started this MD in July, there's not a whole lot of progress because 1) I have a life :o and 2) I've been working on the RHW between Twin Forks and Lamont rather than city development. Regardless, I've zoned everywhere on the north half of Twin Forks, so that tile is getting closer to being completely developed.

And here's the transport view:

(I know that you guys don't like PNG images, but hey, no compression, right?)

Anyway, now here's the industrial area. We start off at the north end where the railway line splits in two, with the branch to the left leading NW, across the river, and up around to the residential area. The one towards the NE follows the river downstream to Lamont.

As we move south along the rail line (4 tracks here now), we have an overpass over the railroad. It was built in 2007 after increasing delays and backups for car traffic on the former at-grade railroad crossing, as well as those dumb sims who were trying to make it across before the train came, but failed to do so, killing or seriously injuring themselves in the process.

Now, here's the freight railyard in the industrial area:

Here, we've moved west towards the river, and here you can see the water treatment plant as well as a bunch of warehouses:

Riverfront property! Great views...from the warehouse: :D

Moving south, you can see the seaport (eventually will be replaced when I build the seaport in Lamont, which will happen I don't know when), more industry, and the waste incinerator:

Now, here's a mosaic of the elevated Crosstown Expressway which runs thru the industrial area, and connects to the residential area on the east side of the city tile:
5.7 (click to view at full size)

Here's where the industrial area transitions to residential with a strip of commercial in between. My commercial demand is way negative, so that explains all the abandoned buildings:

Finally, to put it all in perspective, here's an overview shot of the entire industrial area. I'm still planning on building more industry in the empty spot in the south. (not yet sure about the empty spot at top-right)

That's all for now, and I hope you enjoyed this long-overdue update to my MD. Any comments and suggestions are appreciated!
Check out my MD, United States of Simerica!
Last updated: March 5, 2017

My YouTube Channel


Nice region you're working on! The pictures are great too, though maybe next time turn on the shadows, it makes the place come to life more imho. The residential area is well done with all the curvy streets! And yay, industrial fillers!  ;D

Keep at it!  :thumbsup:
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana