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Old June 24th, 2017, 08:42 PM   #7141
Highway89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I've been looking at the Somport Tunnel on the border with France (N-330) in Huesca province.

As a fun fact, it is the longest untolled tunnel in the EU at 8.6 kilometers. It opened to traffic in 2003.

The construction was met with protest on the French side who feared it would open up a big truck transit route through the Pyrenees. However these fears have proven untrue, in fact the whole tunnel construction may have not been necessary considering the extremely low volume of traffic.

There are contradicting traffic count statistics, which may have to do with seasonal influences.

According to DIR Atlantique, the average traffic volume in 2016 was 1243 vehicles per day. But according to Fomento, the average traffic volume in 2015 was only 213 vehicles per day. In 2014, 205 vehicles per day were recorded in the tunnel.

It is possible that the tunnel attracts more traffic in the winter due to the ski resorts on the Spanish side of the tunnel. Maybe the Spanish figures are summer traffic counts and French figures are winter traffic counts or not seasonally adjusted.

However either way, the amount of traffic through the Somport Tunnel is extremely low, it's questionable if a € 250 million investment was worth its money for only either 200 or 1200 vehicles per day.
According to the Observatorio de Tráfico en los Pirineos, the AADT for light vehicles was 739 vpd in 2014. Even the Bielsa-Aragnouet tunnel, or the Pourtalet pass have higher volumes, despite the fact that they aren't national roads:
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Old June 24th, 2017, 08:50 PM   #7142
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AV-20 Ávila

A-51 has been renumbered to AV-20, evidently it has been done in the last year, since 2016 Street View still has A-51. They also changed the exit numbering.

AV-20 is a 10 kilometer autovía around the city of Ávila, it is an extension of AP-51.

Perhaps this renumbering is an indication that the originally planned A-51 from Soria to Plasencia (N-110 replacement) will never materialize...


AV-20-1 by European Roads, on Flickr


AV-20-2 by European Roads, on Flickr


AV-20-3 by European Roads, on Flickr


AV-20-4 by European Roads, on Flickr


AV-20-5 by European Roads, on Flickr


AV-20-6 by European Roads, on Flickr
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Old June 24th, 2017, 09:09 PM   #7143
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A similar case is the 5-km long A-13 in Logroño, which was planned to be a 100-km long motorway to Soria, following the current N-111. It was a very unrealistic plan. Traffic figures don't justify it and it'd be an environmental disaster. It should be renumbered to LO-11.
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Old June 24th, 2017, 10:08 PM   #7144
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AFAIK A-51 was never planned, only AP-51. And Fomento originally intended A-13 to be a Pamplona-Logroño motorway, but Navarre chose to extend A-12 instead (and they also didn't connect it to A-13, instead ending its section downstream).

Another thing are the now unrelated A-41 and AP-41. The former, which runs from Ciudad Real to Puertollano, was originally intended to be a toll-free section of the latter, which was planned to run from Arroyomolinos (SW of Madrid) all the way to Montoro (E of Cordoba) as an alternate to A-4. But then the section South of Toledo was cancelled due to a negative EIA, leaving two totally unrelated motorways with the same number. Personally I'd change A-41 to A-43 (since the Western section of the latter is planned to run along EX-104 and through Almaden instead of along N-430) and demolish AP-41 altogether (), even if that leaves this country with no motorways with my favorite number. The cancellation also severely delayed a sorely needed section of A-40, the missing link between Toledo and Ocaña, which was to run concurrent with AP-41 across the Tagus river. N-400 carries a large amount of traffic, I don't remember the exact figure now.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 01:26 AM   #7145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
That sounds plausible. According to Wikisara, the Somport Tunnel was under construction from 1994 to 2003, which is relatively long. The 1999 Mont Blanc Tunnel fire caused significant changes to tunnel safety approach and many projects in development had to be redesigned (for example A507 in Marseille).

What would help for traffic on French N134 is a straight extension of A65, west of Pau and east of Oloron-Sainte-Marie. This will significantly reduce travel time, the current N134 is a low-standard road in that area, with a lot of development around it and many roundabouts, coupled with high traffic volumes.

South of Oloron, there isn't much traffic at all.
Safety management is quite hard indeed.
I know one person who worked on tunnel management and told me about it. They do not have only periodic checks but a strong standard for trucks.

They are considered 1-5 according to danger. Most dangerous freights can cross tunnel only from 3:00 to 4:00. Tunnel must be down in both directions and truck must cross it with a firetruck besides.
Downer levels have downer restrictions. For instance, 1 requires no more than five trucks at same time AFAIK, and so on. I do not remember the level, I think it is 3, where they have to cross five trucks together with a firetruck but not down to traffic.


Another issue... each country manages fines in each territory. This is, speed is minimum 60, maximum 80. If you drive over it (or downer 60) you will receive two fines, one for French side and another one for Spanish side
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Old June 25th, 2017, 10:15 PM   #7146
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I took a two-week vacation in Spain. It was extremely hot, with temperatures in the high 30s almost every day, on some days even exceeding 40 °C. I wanted to go to Madrid but it was 42 °C, that's a bit too much. So I traveled from mountain range to mountain range, first in the Pyrenees, then to the Teruel/Castellón/Valencia area, then to the Sierra de Gredos west of Madrid and then to Picos de Europa, where it was also 37 °C. Then I went to the Basque Coast but the forecast for Bilbao was also 37 °C while the average June high in Bilbao is only 23 °C.

So I traveled quite a bit of distance, 6680 kilometers in total from the Netherlands to Spain and back. I clinched many new routes.

What struck me though, was that many foreigners think almost all of Spanish motorways are tolled. I got the 'you must've paid a lot of tolls' question several times. Most tourists don't flock beyond Catalonia, Basque Country and a few other tourist areas which happen to have most of Spanish toll roads.

But in fact the only toll road I took was AP-8 from Bilbao to Irun. All other distance was untolled.



(the map does not show every single road I've driven, I drove many regional roads in those mountain ranges).
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Old June 25th, 2017, 10:28 PM   #7147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I took a two-week vacation in Spain. It was extremely hot, with temperatures in the high 30s almost every day, on some days even exceeding 40 °C. I wanted to go to Madrid but it was 42 °C, that's a bit too much. So I traveled from mountain range to mountain range, first in the Pyrenees, then to the Teruel/Castellón/Valencia area, then to the Sierra de Gredos west of Madrid and then to Picos de Europa, where it was also 37 °C. Then I went to the Basque Coast but the forecast for Bilbao was also 37 °C while the average June high in Bilbao is only 23 °C.

So I traveled quite a bit of distance, 6680 kilometers in total from the Netherlands to Spain and back. I clinched many new routes.

What struck me though, was that many foreigners think almost all of Spanish motorways are tolled. I got the 'you must've paid a lot of tolls' question several times. Most tourists don't flock beyond Catalonia, Basque Country and a few other tourist areas which happen to have most of Spanish toll roads.

But in fact the only toll road I took was AP-8 from Bilbao to Irun. All other distance was untolled.



(the map does not show every single road I've driven, I drove many regional roads in those mountain ranges).
Pretty nice trip. By the way, do you know any good way of recording all those routes in a systematic and vectorial map? Google maps sucks.

Well, I would say there is for sure some sort of correlation -but not exactly causation- between the tolled roads in Spain and the touristic areas. For sure, many of the oldest motorways built under the traditional tolled system are as well in the more developed regions of the country, which were at the same time the closest ones to the French border and popular destinations for foreigner visitors. Then, you can think as well that those motorways are just there for milking foreigners who get into Spain (). But considering that the two main connections to France are tolled, it is "logical" that people may think so. As you say, you can't see many foreigners plates far from the coasts...
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Old June 25th, 2017, 10:32 PM   #7148
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As you say, you can't see many foreigners plates far from the coasts...
That is definitely the case. I took several trips to Spain over the last three years and once you're away from the coast or sufficiently far south, there are basically no foreign passenger cars anymore, except around Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca where you have snowbirds.

I felt a little embarrassed though, that some 80% of the guests at a campsite in Potes were Dutch, that's 1600 kilometers from home and it felt like a Dutch enclave, I don't like that over representation of Dutch people on vacation. Of course I add to it myself as well...
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Old June 25th, 2017, 10:45 PM   #7149
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Once again, you have passed through Huesca and didn't tell me? I see you have done all of A-23, including the most boring part (at least by Spanish standards, Teruel to Calamocha) and the section I want to bypass with a wormhole as I'm tired of driving it (Zaragoza to Huesca, and more precisely Parque Goya to Walqa, although the Southernmost part is N-330).

As for me I've done several new roads this month. I've clinched old N-II in Western Zaragoza province, a quite scenic road. I also did N-420 and A-222 in Teruel province, which I already mentioned a while ago, but I missed the gravity hill on a rest area off N-420 (Exactly here), because I didn't know about its existence at the time.

PS: Dutch people are everywhere. In all three roadtrips I've taken this month I saw vehicles with Dutch plates.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 11:41 PM   #7150
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Quote:
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That is definitely the case. I took several trips to Spain over the last three years and once you're away from the coast or sufficiently far south, there are basically no foreign passenger cars anymore, except around Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca where you have snowbirds.

I felt a little embarrassed though, that some 80% of the guests at a campsite in Potes were Dutch, that's 1600 kilometers from home and it felt like a Dutch enclave, I don't like that over representation of Dutch people on vacation. Of course I add to it myself as well...
Zaragoza-Teruel is quite boring (and near Calamocha I have seen biggest fines because speed in news) but just 30-40 km away you will have amazing roads and landscapes to visit again
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Old June 25th, 2017, 11:45 PM   #7151
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Zaragoza - Teruel runs through a wide valley, but there are continously mountain ranges in sight on either side of the motorway. The motorway sure took the path of the least resistance. The section between Cariñena and Daroca is quite nice though.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 11:52 PM   #7152
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Zaragoza - Teruel runs through a wide valley, but there are continously mountain ranges in sight on either side of the motorway. The motorway sure took the path of the least resistance. The section between Cariñena and Daroca is quite nice though.
There were three options

- Shortest
- Cheapest
- Option to link more towns

Guess which was option chosen.

Teruel-Daroca is boring... but you have crossed longest brigde in Aragon (Lechago one, prepared for a future damn, with 950ish m length)

Daroca-Cariñena is amazing for anyone who know former national road (and specially road in the 80ish with two mountain passes).

As you could see, Cariñena has a long wine heritage. Grapes are taken in middle september. If you come again in early september, it will happen nothing if you get out motorway and stop anywhere to take grapes for tasting there (hint: nobody will say you anything providing you take some grapes and eat in landscape, everybody is welcome to taste goods in the own country... but do not take them away in a bag... it is not welcome)
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Old June 26th, 2017, 12:02 AM   #7153
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I drove A23 from Zaragoza to Sagunt two years ago and it was NOT boring but quite interesting for me. I drove AP/A7 from Barcelona to Algeciras two months ago and it was partially very boring (likely because of slight rain though).
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Old June 26th, 2017, 12:23 AM   #7154
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In the meanwhile.... less than 30 km away from A-23, Albarracín, the known as "prettiest village in Spain"




20 km away from A-23, Rubielos de Mora

(picture of town hall building yardcourt)




and 18 km away to Mora de Rubielos





The picture is taken from the main road that crosses village!!!!, not a little street!!!


From the own N-234 at Luco de Jiloca you can have a look to this Roman brigde



It is enough to drive slow indeed!!!, look at https://www.google.es/maps/@40.97051...2!8i6656?hl=es


Peracense castle is not far away




Daroca will deserve more than a day for a whole visit



and by the way, a SSC banner




Teruel, always Teruel

(it is a fake, the four Teruel towers in a collage)




and SSC banner




and... every corner you would want, but motorway is strongly boring compared with those secrets you can find just in a walk from A-23


And, please... avoid Calamocha. One day CNGL and me will agree or disagree if it is the ugliest or second ugliest town in Aragon
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Old June 26th, 2017, 01:03 AM   #7155
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The ugliest town in Aragon is Alfamen (8 km off A-23), and you know it (Y lo sabes, a famous Spanish meme). I even conducted a poll on Twitter asking what is uglier, if that town or the back of a fridge. About Calamocha, the only time I ventured on its streets was in 2009 (many years ago), and that was during an orienteering race, so I cannot conclude if that is ugly or not.
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Zaragoza - Teruel runs through a wide valley, but there are continously mountain ranges in sight on either side of the motorway. The motorway sure took the path of the least resistance. The section between Cariñena and Daroca is quite nice though.
Even so, it is because the valley is so wide which explains why I find A-23 between Calamocha and Teruel boring. Sure, there are mountain ranges in sight, but the motorway is flat. Also, A-23 runs nowhere near Daroca, perhaps you meant Romanos. Daroca isn't even signed Northbound.
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Old June 26th, 2017, 11:42 AM   #7156
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Yes, Dutch cars are somewhat common even in La Rioja, even on the most off-the-beaten-track places. And so are German camper vans. Quite a long way from home.
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Old June 26th, 2017, 06:46 PM   #7157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I took a two-week vacation in Spain. It was extremely hot, with temperatures in the high 30s almost every day, on some days even exceeding 40 °C. I wanted to go to Madrid but it was 42 °C, that's a bit too much. So I traveled from mountain range to mountain range, first in the Pyrenees, then to the Teruel/Castellón/Valencia area, then to the Sierra de Gredos west of Madrid and then to Picos de Europa, where it was also 37 °C. Then I went to the Basque Coast but the forecast for Bilbao was also 37 °C while the average June high in Bilbao is only 23 °C.

The combination of your comment and the photo of your route made me impossible not to post this meme:



Translation: when andalusians see other people complaining about the high temperatures of their respective regions.
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Old June 26th, 2017, 06:49 PM   #7158
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I'd say 40°C is quite hot for June.
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Old June 26th, 2017, 08:29 PM   #7159
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I'd say 40°C is quite hot for June.

Last Wednesday, little village of Mequinenza in Aragon, boundaring with Catalonia got the European record: 41ºC (measured with standard weather conditions... this is, any car parked on the sun will have 45-48 degrees)



And, it is not Andalusia... it is Ebro valley, less than 100m osl but inner

https://www.google.es/maps/place/501....3007533?hl=es
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Old June 26th, 2017, 09:07 PM   #7160
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The average high in June is 32 °C in Sevilla. I looked at the forecast and they had a week-long streak of 40-44 °C, which is quite close to the record high in June in Sevilla (45 °C).
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