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Old September 9th, 2016, 05:25 PM   #6341
ChrisZwolle
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AP-7 toll stations

It turns out that the Barcelona - L'Hospitalet de l'Infant section of AP-7 in Catalonia used to have an open toll system until 2011.

There were mainline toll plazas at El Vendrell, Tarragona and L'Hospitalet de l'Infant. There was also a toll plaza at the eastern end of AP-2. They were all demolished, leaving only the Martorell toll plaza as the terminus of the tolled AP-7.

They also integrated the tolling system of AP-2 and AP-7 at that time.

In addition, they built a number of new interchanges on the northern part:
* Gelida
* Sant Sadurní d'Anoia
* Vilafranca de Penedès-Nord (used to be a partial interchange)
* Vilafranca de Penedès-Centre (used to be a partial interchange)
* Vilafranca de Penedès-Sud (reconstructed interchange)

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Old September 9th, 2016, 06:12 PM   #6342
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
In addition, they built a number of new interchanges on the northern part:
* Gelida
* Sant Sadurní d'Anoia
* Vilafranca de Penedès-Nord (used to be a partial interchange)
* Vilafranca de Penedès-Centre (used to be a partial interchange)

* Vilafranca de Penedès-Sud (reconstructed interchange)
The ones in bold are still partial interchanges. You can only use them driving to and from Barcelona:

https://www.google.es/maps/@41.35165.../data=!3m1!1e3

https://www.google.es/maps/@41.33290.../data=!3m1!1e3

They had to be reconstructed to add toll booths and, in some cases, to close direct ramps that would've avoided the new toll booths. That was the case for the direct ramps between AP-7 and C-15, that no longer can be used.

Besides, the interchange next to the Martorell toll plaza was also reconstructed, as separate toll booths had to be added for all the different movements. Before 2011 vehicles paid the same fare in the main toll plaza and in the one that existed on the access to the motorway.

As a result of the new closed toll system, the old toll plaza on the access to the motorway had to be demolished, as now different fares apply for southbound traffic entering AP-7 (vehicles receive a ticket) and northbound traffic entering that motorway (where vehicles pay the fare for Martorell - El Papiol section).

The result is having now four different toll plazas next to each other:

https://www.google.es/maps/@41.46473.../data=!3m1!1e3
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Old September 9th, 2016, 07:05 PM   #6343
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In addition there was another toll plaza further North near Sant Cugat (one of the 'weird' saints around Barcelona, it translates to Saint Cucuphas), however at the same time the motorway was built they built a side road (now known as B-30) that bypassed the toll plaza. As a result the side road was congested by shunpikers (as Americans call toll avoiders) while the mainline was empty. So around the year 2000 the Montmeló-el Papiol section was made toll free and the Sant Cugat toll plaza was demolished.
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Old September 9th, 2016, 07:14 PM   #6344
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I think Spain is very unique on the extent it went to build parallel/adjacent highways or expressways just to counteract obligations to pay tolls.
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Old September 9th, 2016, 08:54 PM   #6345
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ARA-A1

Some photos of ARA-A1, from AP-2 to N-232 (i.e. southbound). ARA-A1 opened to traffic in 2008 at a cost of € 58 million. It is a concession road operated with shadow tolls. 2014 traffic volumes were 3,000 vehicles per day, only 40% of the forecasted volume.

It was significantly damaged by a flood in March 2015. It reopened with two lanes in May, but the full reopening with 2x2 lanes wasn't until July 2016.

1. Coming from the AP-2 interchange. The interchange is incomplete, several turning movements are missing.

ARA-A1-1 by European Roads, on Flickr

2. ARA-A1 runs through the Ebro River Valley. The surrounding area consists of dry steppe.

ARA-A1-2 by European Roads, on Flickr

3. The Ebro River Bridge (400 m).

ARA-A1-3 by European Roads, on Flickr

4. Kilometer post. Basically any numbered road in Spain has kilometer posts.

ARA-A1-4 by European Roads, on Flickr

5. ARA-A1 has autopista status, and is thus not an autovía, presumably because it is a (shadow) toll road.

ARA-A1-5 by European Roads, on Flickr

6. The N-232 interchange, which is an elevated roundabout over N-232.

ARA-A1-6 by European Roads, on Flickr
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Old September 9th, 2016, 09:23 PM   #6346
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
4. Kilometer post. Basically any numbered road in Spain has kilometer posts.
Are you sure? Almost all provincial roads in Aragon don't have kmposts. Exceptions exist, such as CV-302 (or ZV-302 as I call it) in extreme Western Aragon.
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Old September 9th, 2016, 09:27 PM   #6347
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Well, I saw kilometer posts on all roads I drove, including very minor roads (like LV-roads in Lleida or mountain roads in the Pyrenees).
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Old September 9th, 2016, 10:19 PM   #6348
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryme Intrinseca View Post
Following on from my EU interchanges thread, here's my breakdown of four-way full access freeflow interchanges in Spain:
Fun fact: all four-way full interchanges in Aragon are along Z-40 around Zaragoza (and four out of five along A-2, which runs concurrent on the North side). Starting from where km 0 of Z-40 would be and going clockwise, I've named those after nearby neighborhoods: Rosales del Canal (rather than Plaza or Arcosur as these would be other exits), Torres de San Lamberto, Parque Goya, Santa Isabel and Valdespartera. Of those, the autobahnkreuz Santa Isabel is the cloverleaf, while the Parque Goya one is the two loop interchange, the other three are off-side as in all three there are at least one movement off the left. In the Rosales del Canal interchange it's A-2 as it merges with Z-40, while in the other two there is a signed left exit.
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Old September 10th, 2016, 12:47 PM   #6349
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Well, I saw kilometer posts on all roads I drove, including very minor roads (like LV-roads in Lleida or mountain roads in the Pyrenees).
When new Aragonese number road was set up, non refurbished roads had milestones every 5 km instead of every km
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Old September 10th, 2016, 12:55 PM   #6350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Some photos of ARA-A1, from AP-2 to N-232 (i.e. southbound). ARA-A1 opened to traffic in 2008 at a cost of € 58 million. It is a concession road operated with shadow tolls. 2014 traffic volumes were 3,000 vehicles per day, only 40% of the forecasted volume.

It was significantly damaged by a flood in March 2015. It reopened with two lanes in May, but the full reopening with 2x2 lanes wasn't until July 2016.

1. Coming from the AP-2 interchange. The interchange is incomplete, several turning movements are missing.
Should you come from Zaragoza via AP-2, those 5 km are free (a counter will send invoice to Aragonese government). AP-2 accepted an interchange only to cross river, they didn't want to set a new toll booth or so


Quote:
2. ARA-A1 runs through the Ebro River Valley. The surrounding area consists of dry steppe.
Re-opened some months ago in that way. Due to a river overflow in March 2015, motorway was down in that point. Works were very slow.


Quote:
3. The Ebro River Bridge (400 m).
From Zaragoza to Pina de Ebro there are these brigde and a walking bridge in La Cartuja only


Quote:
5. ARA-A1 has autopista status, and is thus not an autovía, presumably because it is a (shadow) toll road.

Yes, indeed. Opened in 2008 I think it was 25 years of shadows toll (or maybe 30????)



Quote:
6. The N-232 interchange, which is an elevated roundabout over N-232.
Next time drive ahead. In the km. 3 of A-222 you will cross under the railway HSL and later, a 16 straight way, not very common in this area. It is the second largest straight road in Aragon (first one is 16,5 km and third one 15,8 km).
All in the middle of a vaste desert, so near to Ebro river!!!
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Old September 10th, 2016, 12:56 PM   #6351
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I drove on A-1602 from Berdún to Ansó. It still has concrete kilometer posts, If I recall correctly, with the number HU-202.
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Old September 10th, 2016, 02:11 PM   #6352
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I drove on A-1602 from Berdún to Ansó. It still has concrete kilometer posts, If I recall correctly, with the number HU-202.
It is one out of the most awesome roads in that area indeed.... and by the way, a little regional press release said they are going to refurbish it. Do not expect too much, it hasn't much traffic but better than now at least
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Old September 10th, 2016, 02:20 PM   #6353
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The entire 20 kilometer route from Berdún to A-176 near Ansó was covered in chip seal gravel when I drove it last week.

It's not a fast road, it's narrow (sometimes just a single lane) and very curvy. The driving speed is mostly 40-60 km/h.

A-176 from Hecho to Ansó also appears to have been improved relatively recently. It's much wider than west of Ansó, where it is very narrow and poorly maintained. However, the Hecho - Ansó section is very curvy so you can't drive very fast there either. But I bet it's much safer in the winter now that the road is wider.

You can see how it becomes much narrower once you approach Hecho:
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Old September 10th, 2016, 02:24 PM   #6354
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A-176 is a second degree road (only three digits and in orange). Berdun road is third level and in green.

Till Echo/Hecho in the 90ish it was refurbished. Later, Echo-Ansó was fully refurbished in twice. First only 8 km (and later the hell) and finally, full road.

After Ansó, hell in mountains.
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Old September 10th, 2016, 02:32 PM   #6355
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Iruña is mostly signed from Basque-speaking areas (i.e. north of Pamplona).

Isn't Iruña with an 'ñ' strange for Basque? I don't recall seeing ñ in any other Basque placenames. I used to think that Pamplona was the Basque name and Iruña the Spanish name
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Is Pamplona commonly signed "Iruña" or not really?


6. A bilingual sign. However, the Basque name for Bilbao (Bilbo) is omitted, which is often the case in the area.

N-636-9 by European Roads, on Flickr

AFAIK....
In Basque, Bilbao is accepted as a Basque version too (some forumer from the area could confirm it!).
All official names are in Basque except San Sebastian-Donostia, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Mondragon-Arrasate (and I do not know if any one more). As they have said... Irún has an accent in Spanish, not in Basque and official name is only "Irun".


In Navarra, Pamplona is named as Iruña (I have read Iruñea sometimes) only in the Basque speaking area in Navarra (there is a tiny area where they barely speak it and later, north, speaking area, south, non speaking area)
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Old September 10th, 2016, 02:38 PM   #6356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CNGL View Post
Fun fact: all four-way full interchanges in Aragon are along Z-40 around Zaragoza (and four out of five along A-2, which runs concurrent on the North side). Starting from where km 0 of Z-40 would be and going clockwise, I've named those after nearby neighborhoods: Rosales del Canal (rather than Plaza or Arcosur as these would be other exits), Torres de San Lamberto, Parque Goya, Santa Isabel and Valdespartera. Of those, the autobahnkreuz Santa Isabel is the cloverleaf, while the Parque Goya one is the two loop interchange, the other three are off-side as in all three there are at least one movement off the left. In the Rosales del Canal interchange it's A-2 as it merges with Z-40, while in the other two there is a signed left exit.
Yes, the Z-40 is quite impressive, with the same number of full four-way freeflow interchanges as the M25 London orbital motorway!
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Old September 10th, 2016, 02:42 PM   #6357
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Originally Posted by Ryme Intrinseca View Post
Yes, the Z-40 is quite impressive, with the same number of full four-way freeflow interchanges as the M25 London orbital motorway!
In the 80ish they made the northbound from Madrid exit to Barcelona exit and named as A-2.

In 2003 they opened from Madrid exit to Alcañiz exit and named as Z-40. In 2008 they made full orbital and named as Z-40 southbound.

Later they updated A-2 to Z-40 and sometimes they have both names.
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Old September 10th, 2016, 05:46 PM   #6358
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Regarding the official names of the Basque capitals, the situation as of today is as follows:

- Bilbao is the only official name of the city in both Spanish and Basque languages. The name Bilbo is often used in Basque language (for example, the city's bus company is called Bilbobus), but it doesn't enjoy an official status.

- Vitoria-Gasteiz is the only official name of the city in both Spanish and Basque languages (a single word with the two names linked with a hyphen).

- Donostia and San Sebastián are the two official names of the city, the first one in Basque language and the second one in Spanish.

On the other hand, those are the official names of the Basque provinces since 2011 (until then the Spanish names Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa were also official):

- Bizkaia

- Araba/Álava

- Gipuzkoa

Besides, Pamplona is the official name of the city in Spanish, while Iruña is its official name in Basque language.

And that's the end of your daily dose of Spanish particularities.
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Old September 10th, 2016, 07:47 PM   #6359
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post

5. ARA-A1 has autopista status, and is thus not an autovía, presumably because it is a (shadow) toll road.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alserrod View Post
Yes, indeed. Opened in 2008 I think it was 25 years of shadows toll (or maybe 30????)
Not all shadow-toll roads in Spain are autopistas. There are many shadow-toll autovías in Catalonia, Murcia or Galicia.

I don't know why autovías still exist. They should be re-signed as autopistas. This distinction made sense in the 1980s and 90s when we needed a road category suited for the roads we built back then -largely duplicating existing roads by adding another carriageway, but retaining driveway accesses, bus stops, etc. As of 2015 99% of the autovía network complies with the definition of autopista: a grade-separated, dual-carriageway road with total access restriction.

Tolling is not mentioned as a difference between both road categories. We've always had toll-free autopistas; perhaps the longest one is A-49.
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Old September 10th, 2016, 07:52 PM   #6360
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I agree, the distinction is a bit silly now and the autovía signs are rather different for the road type compared to the rest of Europe. It's probably the sole reason why map makers often fail to portray an accurate road map of Spain, where many autovías are inconsistently shown as lower-class roads, while they are in fact absolutely fine motorways.
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