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Aetrea (Roadgeekery ahead) - Montages galore!

Started by Floydian, March 24, 2009, 01:33:45 PM

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- A vast sprawling wilderness on a distant planet identical to earth in every single way (including the calendar) except the landscape. Convenient, eh? How could such a coincidental occurrence happen? Moving on...

Aetrea is located on the island continent of Meridia, approximately 35 degrees below the equator. With a mean annual temperature of 27 degrees celsius (Or 300K), Aetrea can be considered tropical. Aetrea's landscape produces its wildly fluctuating weather patterns, including severe drought and violent storm systems. The central Aetrean Valley, home to most of the population, tends to receive large amounts of rainfall followed by long periods of dryness. This is believed to be due to the gently sloping mountains in the east, and the sharply sloped mountains in the west.

These conditions have allowed the tropical environment to grow thick lush coniferous forests that stretch unhindered for miles. Balsam fir and lodgepole trees dominate the landscape and have become synonymous with Aetrea, as they are endemic to Meridia.

Aetrea is divided by its physical geography. To the south is the Meridian sea, which encompasses the entire continent. To the far north is the Aetrean Plateau - which though only occupying a few kilometers of land in Aetrea - dominates Meridia, covering over 60% of the landmass. Inbetween the two are several valleys and rivers that bring tremendous amounts of rain water down to sea level. These rivers are the central points of once glacier filled valleys from the last ice age 12500 years ago. The glaciers carved the massive valleys that make up the stunning scenery of Aetrea. In the middle is the Central Aetrean Valley, a 10km wide valley that hosts the most stable farmable weather conditions, and most of the regions population. The CAV is carved by two rivers - The Chron, which decends from the highlands and the Heart River, which has its headwaters at a large artesian lake named Heart Lake (Which produces an unprecedented 50000 litres per second at high flow). These two rivers merge and snake through the valley towards the ocean.


Looks like a beautifull planet indeed, pineview road looks great with the curves. Nice layout for the city. Looking forward to more ;)


Nice start!  Great details in here, I really like that swamp in the last shot. 


Leoland coming Spring 2009


nice start the mosaic is very very nice
NAM + CAM + RAM + SAM, that's how I roll....


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@All - Thank you for all the comments so far! Hope to see more of you in Aetrea :)

Aetrea's history can be traced back several hundred years to the still rather remote county of Gordenridge, to a castle 9 kilometres north of the region's namesake city.

Harris Castle, 2007

Desolate for miles around, the castle survives to this date (With the help of several restorations), minus its former village, which was moved 6 kilometres south to Heart Lake in 1878 when the castle was infested with rats.

An aerial photo of Pineview road, the primary route through Gordenridge. The dirt road leads up the mountain to Harris Castle.

The town expanded rather rapidly, and the historical core was removed in 1915, with exception to the town centre, which remains to this day at the corners of Heart Lake road and Cofferdam street, the sole remnant of the beginning of a nation.

Town of Heart Lake, 2007 (Heart Lake road running left to right and Cofferdam street running  up from it)

Aetrea received independence in 1926, and set forth to attract new residents. A power infrastructure was set up throughout the region to set the field for many towns and cities to grow. The first of such was the planned capital, Norris. Norris was founded in 1864, only 20 years after the initial settlement at Gordenridge. Renamed to Aetrea and designated the capital in 1928, Aetrea expanded rapidly through the 30's into a modest sized city. The suburban movement of the late 40's attracted developers to create "picturesque neighbourhoods, where families can grow in safety and comfort while enjoying a pretty decent view", as one ad's slogan announced. More on the capital at a later date.


Aetrea's 2300 square kilometre landscape was formed by the movement of glaciers at the end of the last ice age. Many rivers divide the mountainous landscape, and thousands of springs dot the region. The largest spring on the planet can be found at the north end of Heart Lake, at the deepest point of the lake where the cliffs drop straight down into the lake.

Heart Lake (spring), a large lake sits above the massive artesian well.

Aetrea's climate is warm and humid, similar to Northern California, or British Columbia. The region hosts many species of plant and animal, but is known most for its endless lodgepole pine forests, which can stretch for several kilometres uninterrupted.

Lodgepole forests dominate the swamps to the west of Heart Lake.

Aetrea's winterless climate makes it the perfect place for agriculture. Farmland stretches beyond sight in many places, and dots the forests in others. In fact, Aetrea is a principal exporter of food and goods, and farming is the main industrial supplier of jobs!

More on the environment in a future update!

A Guide to Aetrea, and How to Get Around

Aetrea's transportation network is being designed to provide the people with an efficient way of moving goods - and themselves - around. A further consideration is to prevent the possibility of lost stragglers wandering far enough into the forests to leave the region. To accomplish this, the regions engineers decided that from any point in the region, one could not be further than 5 kilometers from a road, and that a ring road around the outskirts of the region be built to establish the limits of civilization (Aetrea is rather remote, and is the lone territory of the island continent of Meridia). It was decided that a grid of concessions and sidelines would best span the region and open basic infrastructure up to all corners of the region.

2.01 Concessions and sidelines divide the region and are now broken up by more major throughfares that escape their grid.

Surveyed and built by the early twentieth century, the concession system opened Aetrea's forests to new settlers, who took no time in establishing hundreds of minor villages throughout the region. Concessions are east-west streets that start at a "Baseline" road at the southernmost point of a county, and then count up from Concession 2. Sidelines run north-south, and begin with the main north-south route in the county, and count upwards from 2 as you move east or west. They are designated either East or West. For example, Heart Lake Sideline 4 West is the third sideline to the west of Heart Lake Road.

2.02 Where towns are built, the dirt streets of the past are rebuilt into more driveable asphault carriage ways.

Unlike most places on Earth, Aetrea had roads with cars over 50 years before even the first rail line - Being at the bottom of a major glacial run off, railways are astonishing feats to build in most of Aetrea. They cross some of the most scenic locales of the region, and tunnel under the largest of mountains to reach their destination. Rail lines connect most of the major cities in the region, and can generally be found following the shores of the major rivers. Travelling by rail is expensive and is seen as reserved for the high class. This is eventually set to change as the rail companies slowly earn back their debts from fares.


2.04 Heart Lake offers the greatest compromise between rugged mountains to the north and east, and gentle plains to the south and west. Rail lines pass by several scenic points in the county.

2.05 A rail line crosses the now preserved Aetrea Ravine in the suburbs of the capital.


2.07 Pineview road (HL-7) and a rail line dance through the foothills to the east of Heart Lake.

2.08 The last leg of a scenic rail ride towards Aetrea city takes riders past vibrant farmland, niched swamps overflowing with fauna, and H-80, the Heart Lake Expressway, before entering the northern suburbs a kilometer south (Up in the picture)

Roads serve to connect the minor towns to one another, and provide direct access between important places. Most roads in the region are upgraded sideroads. Since town are not always north, south, east, or west of each other, roads sometimes will cross a variety of concessions and sidelines. Gentle curves avoid the 4-way intersections, and new connections are made to the roads.

2.09 Heart Lake county route 3 (HL-3) zig-zags between sidelines north-west of Heart Lake.

2.10 Beautiful scenery lines this rugged road in the mountains 6km north-west of the capital.

Roads in Aetrea - like most places on Earth - also form on streets that run alongside rivers. These roads often are primary arteries - Gathering traffic when an obstacle prevents them from going further, and directing it to the nearest crossing of that obstacle.

2.11 Heart Lake road runs along the southern shore of the artesian lake.

Most roads in Aetrea are simply named. A select few are chosen as principal routes and are given a county designation. For example, Pineview road, which runs from the northern edge of Gordenridge to the northern limits of the city of Aetrea, is designated throughout its length as Heart Lake county road 7 (Or HL-7).

The avenues of Aetrea lie almost solely in metropolitan areas. They are the arterial roads of the cities and towns. Most larger buildings will be on or next to an avenue, and all business districts will lie next to or surrounding the intersection of two avenues.

Avenues are a quick way to move traffic off the roads and streets, and direct it to the nearest highway.

2.12 An avenue intersects H-87 on the outskirts of Aetrea's suburbs

Most avenues in Aetrea are not designated with a route number, unless they are the extension of a road that is formally designated.

The highways of Aetrea are a work of their own, so much so that they have their own department, seperate from the rest of the transportation network. The AHCB - Aetrea Highways Control Board - deals with maintenance and route planning.

Aetrea's highways attempt to serve every area of the country, not just the cities. An efficient transportation network means that businesses get deliveries fast. Faster deliveries mean more productivity, and more productivity means more results in less time. It can be simply said that the economy has skyrocketed since the introduction of the freeway.

2.13 H-87 runs north and south through the centre of the city of Aetrea. It begins at H-80 (As seen in 2.14), and ends south of the city at H-1. Here it is seen passing through Heart Lake, a recent extension from its former terminus at the avenue in 2.12.

2.14 H-87's newly built interchange with H-80 next to Heart Lake almost completes the freeway loop around the city of Aetrea, although the connection from northbound H-87 to Westbound H-80 (Which heads toward the interchange in 2.15)

2.15 Further west, H-80's terminus with H-1. This is the first interchange between two highways built in Aetrea.

Aetrea's highways are all designated, and many given nicknames. H-##, where H stands for - you guessed it - highway. The numbers are even on east-west routes, and odd on north-south routes. Spurs have a hundreds digit given to them.


2.17 H-287 runs from the suburbs to H-87 and is a spur highway.

Most highways are 4 lanes (Two in either direction), but widen to 6 near major interchanges or busy areas.

2.18 H-87 widens to 6 lanes at its interchange with H-287 to give plenty of merging time. Aetrea ravine is visible at the top (South) of the photo.

2.19 H-87/H-287 intersection in the midst of the suburbs. Aetrea ravine surrounds it to the south and east and gives the location a semi-rural feel.

Later we will take a look at the public transit system and air/sea travel in Aetrea. For now, Here is one last highway interchange...

2.20 H-80 near the western edge of Heart Lake county intersects HL-287, which widens into H-287 about a kilometer and a half south.

Coming Next: A preview of Aetrea. Capital city suburbs


Very nice city, I like the country you do &apls

Guillaume :thumbsup:
L'atelier d'architecture
* * * * * Longwy * * * * *


This is part 3. I will be combinging it with part 2 with my NEXT update so that the first post can be used for updates and eventually a table of contents.
As mentioned, this update is simply a preview of a larger installment on the capital city. A teaser or two if you may. Also included is a redevelopment on the outskirts or the 'burbs. So without further adoooo

Capital City Suburbs: A Teaser

Aetrea is divided into 5 sectors - Central (Or Proper) Aetrea, Upper Aetrea (Where we will be exploring today and the next update), Riverside (North-East Aetrea), Lower Aetrea, and Ridgemont/Plaines (East Aetrea). Only the central and southern sections are within the city limits. The remainder, while part of the metropolitan area, is not part of the central city and are currently bedroom communities.

3.01 Upper Aetrea is a sprawling urban wilderness, the product of the housing boom of the 40's and 50's. While the occasional high-rise punctures the low skyline along main arterial routes, most of the 150,000 residents live in single detached homes.

3.02 The downtown of Upper Aetrea to the north of Aetrea Ravine (See 3.04) is a clear example of the start of suburbanification, a rare state where the (Or a) central business district moves out of the central city to form a ring around it, and the core becomes more residentially inclined (Or, from a statistical point of view, when the bedroom communities of a large city become bigger economic and developmental hubs than the city proper).

3.03 Powerline traverse the northern border of the city's central district. This is the same avenue, on the opposing side of the ravine, as the one in 3.02

3.04 Aetrea ravine circa 1985. The ravine was protected in 1951, banning bikes, motorized vehicles, and pets from entering. However, this came after the power grid built in 1931, and a housing development, which buried the headwaters in 1946. The empty area in the upper left was cleared in the months prior to this photo, and have since been redeveloped.

3.05 A map of Upper Aetrea and surrounding municipalities (Including Heart Lake to the North), highlighting the highway system in the area.

The following is a grade-seperation redevelopment in the far north of Aetrea. A recent development has reached a northern freight line, and the traffic levels necessitate the rail line being raised above the roads (As is already the case slightly to the west where the line crosses an avenue. This is seen in 3.11). Freight traffic cannot be interrupted, and so a spur is first built to bypass the construction.

3.06 Prior to construction, the line crosses two roads which now receive moderate traffic flow.

3.07 First a spur is built.

3.08 Next, the main line is demolished.

3.09 It is replaced by a raised portion in the centre.

3.10 The two seperated bridges are connected

3.11 Montage of the completed viaduct (Wider than 800px)

Coming soon - SOMETHING!


Still nice, I love it &apls

Guillaume :thumbsup:
L'atelier d'architecture
* * * * * Longwy * * * * *


Thank you :) I'm glad I have at least one person interested

A mini update. I'm also posting this to the Show Us Your Intersections thread. This is my recently constructed interchange between H-87 and a yet undesignated freeway (Most likely H-187).




That's a magnificent interchange there, Floydian! Excellent work with the RHW!

Actually, I'm seeing a lot of great stuff here in Aetrea. Sorry it took so long for me to stop in! I will definitely be back to see what you have in store!

Take care!



Don't get discourage by the amount of comments you receive; feel good that you are putting out quality work. And you are doing just that  :thumbsup: &apls

I really like your interchanges; they are well-planned and executed. Your lakes and farmlands are very eye-catching, as well. Keep it up; I like what I'm seeing!

~ Dan
Custom Lotting at its Finest:

Last updated: 2/9- I'm Back! +  A Teaser (of course...)


You definitely have more than 1 interested person Floydian. I've been a lurker here for some time now, so it's time for me to comment isn't it  :P

I like your interchanges. I concur with dsrwhat316 on that!   &apls
Also, your suburbs of the previous update look great, quite realistic  :thumbsup:

So, I hope that in spite of the lack of comments, you still find the time and energy to continue this MD, 'cause I really like it!



Aside from all the other work put into this MD, that has got to be the curviest RHW interchange I've ever seen.


Another road geek is stopping by  ;)

Nice interchanges, and a good layout of your transportation networks. I'm keeping an eye on this MD.

Lurk mode: ACTIVE


Thanks for the comments everyone. It's good to know that people are interested and watching.

I will try to update at least once a week, so keep an eye out. As you could see from the map, I'm sort of building as I go, so it can take time to make everything pretty.

- Jess


This exchange is very very impressive! I can't imagine all the work is behind this! :o

Guillaume :thumbsup:
L'atelier d'architecture
* * * * * Longwy * * * * *


Great shots! You have a great road network, much better than anything I could create. I must say though, I wasn't aware Northern California was humid. To think, I thought it was dry all these years . . . :P
Best movie of all time: Ferris Bueller's Day Off. If you disagree, Cameron will send your car over a cliff.

Please, call me Leo.  I quote John Lennon now, a great musician and philosopher. Particularly, one of his songs: You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one. I hope someday you join us, and the world will live as one.


Hi Floydian- let me echo what Dan (dsrwhat316) said.  MDs are not, sadly, just a matter of, "if you build it, they will come."  Sticking to your vision, even when the comments don't necessary come right away, along with keeping the quality of your content high are necessary ingredients for success, imho.  You've got really good content- hang in there and my guess is your patience will pay off.

D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren