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Old February 28th, 2015, 04:28 PM   #4901
alserrod
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Add another 2 km or so in Zaragoza but nothing special. A motorway arrived to city centre without exits. It has been enlarged (4x4) but it is an avenue instead of a motorway
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Old February 28th, 2015, 04:53 PM   #4902
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Quote:
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Spain must be the most pro-road country in Europe.
I was reading up dozens and dozens of old articles of El País and ABC from the 1980s and 1990s (to get opening dates of first generation autovías) and it is notable how in Spain both PSOE and PP heavily favored highway construction, using them as election propaganda. In most (western) European countries, the social democrats / labor equivalents are not as much in favor of new motorways.

Spain likely has the best road infrastructure in Europe and maybe the world. Spanish cities also tend to rank very low in congestion indexes. Madrid is by far the lowest ranked major metropolitan area in Europe in the TomTom Travel Index.
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Old February 28th, 2015, 05:02 PM   #4903
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Spain has spent a lot on all kinds of transport infrastructure. High speed rail is perhaps the best known project abroad, but I suspect a lot more has been spent on various highway projects. Urban rail has also done well. However almost all these transportation systems have now been finished or will be very soon (within 5 years).

Perhaps it's time to invest more heavily into higher education and R&D to increase productivity and make sure that there are enough people able to afford all what has been built.
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Old February 28th, 2015, 05:15 PM   #4904
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Spain has spent a lot on all kinds of transport infrastructure. High speed rail is perhaps the best known project abroad, but I suspect a lot more has been spent on various highway projects.
Fomento (the ministry of works) has been spending more on rail projects than highways since at least 2003. High-speed rail is expensive, especially with all the mountain ranges in Spain. Spanish autovías have a very low construction cost (generally in the € 6 million/km range, but can be as low as € 2 million/km). Even mountainous autovías are not very expensive compared to the Alps.

I wonder which large city could be considered to have the worst road network in Spain. Perhaps Sevilla. It is well connected to other regions, but its urban motorway network is not as good (SE-30 being substandard at various places). The motorway network around Madrid is just mind-boggling.
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Old February 28th, 2015, 05:33 PM   #4905
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Why can Spain build freeways so cheap? I know there are some factors, such as:
- excessively dense cities = not much scattered housing interfering with rural roads
- lots of low-value land
- low wages for lower-skilled construction workers

Yet, that cannot explain things alone. Other countries like Portugal and Greece also have these factors, yet construction in these areas is much more expensive
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Old February 28th, 2015, 09:06 PM   #4906
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Why can Spain build freeways so cheap? I know there are some factors, such as:
- excessively dense cities = not much scattered housing interfering with rural roads
- lots of low-value land
- low wages for lower-skilled construction workers

Yet, that cannot explain things alone. Other countries like Portugal and Greece also have these factors, yet construction in these areas is much more expensive
Spain has lots of valueless land. It's not a coincidence that it also is a pioneer country in reforestation programs. Between 1940 and 2011 forest area increased from 11 million ha to 18 million due to worthless land being reforested. Plus, population density is very low -92 people per square kilometer against 114 for Portugal. And it's way less mountainous than Greece. Motorways in urban areas or through mountains are expensive, like everywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Fomento (the ministry of works) has been spending more on rail projects than highways since at least 2003. High-speed rail is expensive, especially with all the mountain ranges in Spain. Spanish autovías have a very low construction cost (generally in the € 6 million/km range, but can be as low as € 2 million/km). Even mountainous autovías are not very expensive compared to the Alps.

I wonder which large city could be considered to have the worst road network in Spain. Perhaps Sevilla. It is well connected to other regions, but its urban motorway network is not as good (SE-30 being substandard at various places). The motorway network around Madrid is just mind-boggling.
SE-40 will change this, though the city will not get a Northern bypass for a long time -SE-30 is just three quarters of a circle. A-8009, in the North of the city, is one of the very few Spanish motorways that are not connected to the rest of the network.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 03:44 AM   #4907
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Well, Portugal is only ours because we had some rough territory to help it happening, protecting it from the foreign incursions. It's really amazing when you cross some borders - Vilar Formoso and Quintanilha are the most striking cases, I think -, you come from Spain where all is flat and suddenly a couple km after entering Portugal the motorways start to go up and down the hills The Portuguese territory is, with the exception of Alentejo in the south, more mountainous than a considerable part of Spain (CyL, CLM, Extremadura, ...), and that makes it more expensive to build a motorway.

Talking about roads, I see that they have been refurbishing N-I between Burgos and Pancorbo. Do they have plans to make it a 1+1 expressway till Ameyugo, where AP-1 becomes free?
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Old March 1st, 2015, 03:41 PM   #4908
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Spain likely has the best road infrastructure in Europe and maybe the world. Spanish cities also tend to rank very low in congestion indexes. Madrid is by far the lowest ranked major metropolitan area in Europe in the TomTom Travel Index.
Madrid has a very decent public transport network, too. 13 metro lines + several light rail (metro ligero) lines and additionally the Cercanias, which, too, transport several hundred thousands of people daily. This network is good enough to offer a reasonable option for people with a low or medium income.
As a result of that public transport has a very high modal share in Madrid (42%), significantly higher than car (30%), which is pretty rare in cities west of Vienna.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 04:48 PM   #4909
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpc08 View Post
Well, Portugal is only ours because we had some rough territory to help it happening, protecting it from the foreign incursions. It's really amazing when you cross some borders - Vilar Formoso and Quintanilha are the most striking cases, I think -, you come from Spain where all is flat and suddenly a couple km after entering Portugal the motorways start to go up and down the hills The Portuguese territory is, with the exception of Alentejo in the south, more mountainous than a considerable part of Spain (CyL, CLM, Extremadura, ...), and that makes it more expensive to build a motorway.

Talking about roads, I see that they have been refurbishing N-I between Burgos and Pancorbo. Do they have plans to make it a 1+1 expressway till Ameyugo, where AP-1 becomes free?
I've read/heard many times that Spain was the second most mountainous country in Europe after Switzerland, but I've never believed it. It may be true, however, that its average altitude (meters above sea level) is the second highest - but that seems wrong too. (I can't post the link, but check the "List of countries by average elevation" on Wikipedia).

As you said, the northern & southern plateaus, plus the Ebro and Guadalquivir valleys are quite flat and make up about the at least two thirds of the continental part of the country. Italy (except the Pianura Padana), Portugal, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Norway are in my opinion way more hilly.



I've uploaded another 2 videos of Spanish highways and roads.

First, the LO-20, southern bypass of Logroño, including the recently opened stretch:



The second one shows the old N-111 Logroño-Pamplona, which was downgraded to a local road (NA-1110) when the A-12 was opened. This particular stretch is called Mataburros (literally, donkey killer) and used to be quite dangerous because of the curves and the queues formed behind the slow-moving trucks and buses.



(It's weird that I can't post links, but I can embed Youtube videos).
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Old March 1st, 2015, 04:56 PM   #4910
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The Autovia Mudejar has plenty of grade sections on the supposed plateaus between Zaragoza and the coast.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 05:00 PM   #4911
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Well... here you are an example of a road demolishion:



Picture taken by newspaper Heraldo

Reason?

Ebro river is overpassed everywhere. That road is the Boquiñeni-Luceni local road
https://www.google.es/maps/place/506...983fa035dad06f

and it was done because of this:




Picture is taken by Aragon TV and it looks forward south-west

Look at "natural way" of the river (surrounded by trees) and all filled with water.

Take a look to the bridge which can help you to locate the area. The village in the picture is Pradilla de Ebro, thus Boquiñeni would be just in the left of the image
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Old March 1st, 2015, 05:37 PM   #4912
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Quote:
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The Autovia Mudejar has plenty of grade sections on the supposed plateaus between Zaragoza and the coast.
I think the A-23 between Zaragoza and the coast crosses the eastern massifs of the Iberian mountain range.
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Old March 1st, 2015, 06:46 PM   #4913
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It doesn't cross too much at all. They look fot the easiest way. Therefore, not many bridges (and absolutely no tunnels)
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Old March 1st, 2015, 10:48 PM   #4914
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpc08 View Post

Talking about roads, I see that they have been refurbishing N-I between Burgos and Pancorbo. Do they have plans to make it a 1+1 expressway till Ameyugo, where AP-1 becomes free?
AP-1 will be toll-free when concession ends in 2018 (source).
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Old March 1st, 2015, 11:10 PM   #4915
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Quote:
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The Autovia Mudejar has plenty of grade sections on the supposed plateaus between Zaragoza and the coast.
I really like the section between Carinena and Calamocha. But then it becomes plain boring until Teruel (if it exists at all ) and then the landscape turns better, but I've only been a couple times past Teruel. I also like A-2 from Ariza to Zaragoza, even if it's 7 km shorter than posted (measured and confirmed with my car ).
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Old March 1st, 2015, 11:14 PM   #4916
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So do I.

Paniza (Cariñena south indeed) - Calamocha is quite interesting

Teruel-Calamocha is quite boring... but beyond Teruel going to the south there are five interesting bridges.

Later, a "high level" motorway (arount 1000 m over sea level" and it is just entering the Valencian community where it takes a long way down to the sea.


About A-2 Zaragoza-La Almunia is boring but La Almunia - Calatayud has four little mountain passes. Quite small all of them, but quite interesting to drive there
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Old March 2nd, 2015, 01:19 AM   #4917
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verreme View Post
AP-1 will be toll-free when concession ends in 2018 (source).
Dream is cheap.
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Old March 2nd, 2015, 12:20 PM   #4918
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Quote:
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AP-1 will be toll-free when concession ends in 2018 (source).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aokromes View Post
Dream is cheap.
In this case I think we can expect it becomes true.

In a few months' time the N-I will be banned for trucks, which will have to take the AP-1 instead. The government will subsidize half of their toll fares, which is a lot of money. Therefore it may be cheaper for the administration to take control of the AP-1 once the concession expires, rather than keeping on paying half of the tolls to the managing company.

Or maybe it isn't, and the concession is extended again. In this scenario, maybe the administration will ask for some improvements in return, as they did the previous time, when the stretch between Pancorbo and Armiñón became toll-free and was widened to 2x3.

But there are other factors to take into account. For instance, the "ghost motorways". Will they become part of a state-owned company? And don't forget that there are local and national elections in 2015.
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Old March 2nd, 2015, 01:03 PM   #4919
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Quote:
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About A-2 Zaragoza-La Almunia is boring but La Almunia - Calatayud has four little mountain passes. Quite small all of them, but quite interesting to drive there
I also agree. A-2 through La Almunia, Calatorao and Epila municipalities is boring (fortunately it's only 15 km) but I disagree with the part that goes through La Muela and its windmills. Also, past Ateca there is also an interesting section with some viaducts, and the landscape changes dramatically when you hit Contamina (I mentioned earlier Ariza because it's larger), it feels you are already in the Castilian plateau but you haven't left Aragon yet!

BTW, I can't believe the greenies haven't forced Contamima to change its name. Contamina literally means 'it pollutes'!
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Old March 2nd, 2015, 01:07 PM   #4920
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In other news, ARA-A1 motorway has been closed down due to part of it having been swept away by the ongoing Ebro river flood. This is the only bridge between the Z-40 near Zaragoza and Pina, and the latter town may have to be evacuated, so I'm afraid there are no safe crossings downstream until Caspe.
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