So this entry is ten days overdue, it means you lot have been sitting eagerly waiting for the next instalment. In the intervening time, I have aged up another year, done some more charting, and noted that the Radiation poster became the featured image on my birthday. Not a bad day's effort.
Today's journey shall take us again to western Cambria, where there are no deer or antelope to play with, but there certainly are farms and towns. Let us begin with Helensvale. As I mentioned in my April 18 entry, Helensvale is based on the town of Helensville, just outside of Auckland, New Zealand. It's your run-of-the-mill country town on the southern shore of the Kaipara Harbour and alongside the Kaipara River (both of which lend their name to Caipah in Saviso, but that's another story), and I'm sure not a bad place to live - and that sounds just dandy for a country town. With Helensvale, I have tried to go for that country town feel, while also recognising that it is a satellite town of Crafers, one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The real Helensville isn't as big as my version, and my version has been rotated around a bit. Obviously, it's a bit odd moving a coastal town several dozen kilometres away from the sea, but I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out. I'm not too sure what I'm going to do with the other side of the Crafers River yet - it's farmland for the most part, but I've yet to decide how it's going to look. Ah well, that can be for another day.
Possibly the biggest change to the area is the extension and realignments I've given to the A3/M3 and M4 highways. Originally, Crafers was the meeting point of the A21 from Endorie and the A34 from Holme, both of which together formed the main highway between the two. And yet, it didn't make much sense. I still needed to map an A3, and what else would be more suitable than a major road from Holme to the western border with TA004 via Endorie? I'm sure I'll find room for the B21 and B34 again somewhere. The next thing to sort out was what sort of road it is. The major intercity highways had already been given M designations (M1, M4, M7, and so on), but the A3 was left as an ordinary road. Provision was already being made for the Crafers southern bypass, which by 2018 will take the bulk of traffic out of central Crafers, but it seemed a bit of a waste to have this nice high-speed highway around the city linking up to ordinary two-lane roads. The answer was to completely upgrade the highway, but the Cambrian authorities were a bit slow on this. Some stretches of the road are already motorway-standard, others are waiting their turn. It's probably been my favourite project with the construction tag so far, and as I close the gap between Ladron and Holme (a distance of about 100 kilometres), I'll be adding in more towns and bypasses along the way.
One of these towns is Hopecross, just over the border in Prihor. The town was mainly inspired by Gore, another country town right at the bottom of New Zealand, and by some towns in southern Queensland around Toowoomba. Originally the A3 passed through the town, then along Traford Drive in the 1980s, and now around the town completely. Much of Hopecross Road is gone now, but lives on in the motorway, which for the most part follows the original road (although the fields betray the original alignment). Along the old Hopecross Road is Branchmarsh, a little village based on numerous small towns long-bypassed by motorways in Victoria.
Eastward now, and we see the towns of Cockburn and Ladron. I haven't decided how they'll look yet, since the main focus here was to join up the highways and to link up northern and western Cambria with Culwawa and the Pentland region. The highways still need some work, but the yawning gaps in the Cambrian map (oh look, a rhyme) are beginning to close. My plan is to soon join the two ends of the A3/M3 up, and figure out a route for the M1 to join Godley Bay (which will eventually become Tindalls Bay) and Holme.
Finally, let us head to the north, where the M4 has been duplicated all the way to Longlac (with the appearance of Caharan, Trunmarn, and Tahoraraihu along the way), and in Brynderwyn the C330 is at last finished, with Cape Meridian now looking presentable enough to be allowed to leave the house. Cambria's breakneck roadbuilding continues, to the delight of the Cambrians and consternation of the environmentalists (although Grable, Deltic, and Mantlegas are all adding charging stations to their forecourts now). In the meantime, more roads, please!
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