This section will focus on expanding our two partial grids to their full size and setting up the infrastructure. (You may notice the population is all over the place in some of the screenshots. I had to figure out some locations after I had already zoned out most of the area.)
Save your city in a separate slot here, so we can come back to it later (before you've bought any extra tiles). It’s finally time to expand your territory! For now, we’re going to buy the areas to the E, W, S and SE of your starting square. Like so:
This will unlock:
We want to expand our eastern grid to here (road placed as a guide):
That is 12 small blocks (or 6 double blocks) for your city, plus another 2 and a half blocks to allow for a highway around the outskirts.
You should give yourself a guideline for extending the grid south. In that direction, it will be going 4 blocks for the city, and another 2.5 for the highway (total cost should be 2560 if using basic 2 lane roads).
But oh no, there is a river in the way! Time to do some terraforming. First we will cut a new channel. Start right about where the river meets the zone edge and use the shift terrain tool under landscaping to dig. Max out the strength and size of the area you are effecting and go straight south, dig in a spot until the digging process slows down. After a little bit you will run out of soil holding capacity:
Before we dump that dirt, you need a new temporary source of water. Water towers are much less efficient than pumps, but they can be built away from the water (which is about to move). So for now build some (twice as many as you have pumps), near the west edge of the city and hook them into your network.
Now you can start gradually filling in the land you want your city on. For this, use the “level terrain” tool. Hit X on the area you want to match the height of, then use A as you move the cursor to bring other terrain to that same level. You’ll notice every ten contour lines are thicker. I would start with the thick line slightly above the water level as your base level:
While filling in the water, don’t try to go too quickly or do it while the game is paused. The displaced water can go all over the city. Work from the existing shoreline out. By the time I used up that first load of soil I had something like this:
Go back to digging your river channel, alternating between building up and digging out as needed. After 2 cycles:
After 3 digging cycles, the channel was complete!
To finish diverting the river, you’ll need to buy the tile north of this one next. (You need it later anyway.)
Pick the high point of your river bank with the leveling tool:
Then wall off the old river channel. It doesn’t need to be super wide, so you can change the size to the minimum. In my case that was enough to do the trick. If not, you can raise it up a little higher until it stops the water pouring into the old channel.
Now you can finish filling in the old river bed (don’t forget to reset your elevation). You’ll end up lowering some of the old West bank but that’s just fine:
You can extend a road out from your southern boundary to give you a marker as you finish filling in (make sure you repair your power line if you cut it though).
FYI, you’ll need to get rid of your old water pumps as you do this. When you run out of soil there is a large mountain in the SE that you can dig up for extra dirt. To save yourself having to redo work later on (we'll eventually extend our city into the mountain area a bit), this is a good level to lower it to:
Once the river bed is all filled in it will take a little while for the water to all drain off. While that happens, you may want to make the slope a little more gradual near the old E bank. The simplest way is to use the leveling tool, and take each major contour line and move it a bit W of where it originally was, moving each one a bit further apart than the last. It will do weird things when you change it right next to a road, but once you delete/redo the roads, the hills/valleys will disappear. Do your leveling on the low side of the contour line you are mimicking, so you don’t undo the work you just did a minute ago.
First line before/after:
After 2nd line:
You may want to delete the road out here now so you can see what you are doing. You may also want to delete (AND REDO) your power line
And after the 4th:
Now take the soften terrain tool and go over the steeper areas (where lines are close together) and it will spread them out a bit. Anywhere your soil is brown and rocky like this it needs some softening:
It’s also worth paying attention to the areas your N/S highway will be placed if you continue it. I ran into some issues later connecting ramps because the ground wasn’t level. It's easier to level the ground now, than to mess with it later when it is built up. The river bed could also use some attention in this regard so that the south edge where we will be putting the highway (all the way around the outside of the grid) is relatively level in the N/S direction, and doesn’t slope down too steeply from E/W. It will save you time in the long run as you won’t have to mess around with highway connections as much.
Now that we’re done with our terraforming, we can set up our new water supply. Place them right below the bridge. Connect them to your existing water network and drop a turbine by them just to make it simpler for now. As you expand these you should be going from upstream to downstream. As your city gets bigger it will significantly lower the level of the river downstream of your pumps, by building new ones downstream you avoid having to constantly move them.
We’re going to build out both grids to their final size now. You may want to do some minor leveling on the right side to get rid of this hill but you don’t really have to:
Pause the game (and save too). We’ll focus on the inner grids first, and then set up the highways. Go ahead and get rid of your temporary roads and pumping area. You want to extend your grids on the north edge out by six long blocks east and west with tree lined roads (cost 7200). Make sure you maintain that 90 degree angle, it can be easy to get out of the line as the distance within which it snaps to that is pretty small on a road that long. Then you want to go S 4 blocks on the 2 southern corners of each grid next to the highway (cost 2400). Going 22 blocks is a bit hard to do accurately, so it’s easier this way. Then go out East and west from the new corners you just created. You want to go out another six long blocks (7200) just like you did on the north side, and then you can connect the two ends (9600).
Now you just need to fill it all in. I recommend starting with the second interior E/W road, stopping every 2 blocks to do 1 block of N/S street. This way you have easy reference points but don’t have to draw as many segments as you would if you did all the E/W roads first. When doing the E/W streets don’t forget to do tram roads (if you have the DLC and are using trams for transit) on the 2nd,4th, etc roads (matching your existing core) for all but the outermost blocks. I did the 2nd E/W road firsty so you don’t have to switch back and forth between tracks and regular roads constantly. Partway through this first block:
Draw your remaining N/S roads and then fill in all the E/W roads. If you are using trams, connect the ends of each loop (e.g. streets 2-4, 6-8, etc) by upgrading those roads to track roads. You’ll also need to connect the ends of your old tracks (which stopped one block from the edge) the same way and switch the ends of the old loops back to normal tree roads. You’ll also need to temporarily delete your tram depot while doing the E grid. Don’t worry about maintaining the internal N/S track road you had before on the 2nd block in from the highway, you can change that back to tree road.
The western grid complete:
Once you complete both grids, connect the roads that will become through streets, following the same pattern as in the original city, every other block, alternating directions. If you see any rocks left in your grids at this point you may as well bulldoze them now.
Both grids done:
Next we’ll be working on the ring road. On every other block on the E&W sides (except the corners) you’ll be drawing tree roads out a block and a half (1440). It’s easiest to do the two on the ends and connect them, then fill in the interior roads.
For the N/S sides, the roads will be in the middle of each block. The easiest way is probably to gauge the 1st one by eye (or put a temporary road splitting the block inside the grid). Then draw two blocks of the exterior road at a time, connecting back to the grid with a N/S road after each section.
With all the exterior roads in place:
Now we are going to extend our highway around each section of the city. I’m not going to go into the same level as detail as I did the first time, since we will be doing the same thing as when we first set up highway access. On each of the 4 exterior road sections, draw a pair of 2 lane roads in the center, 2 cells apart and parallel to the edge of the grid. One should go up one level and the other down (both in as short a distance as possible. I would recommend doing the high road on the outside. Having it further away from your grid gives you more space for buildings alongside your grid.
From each road, draw a highway towards the corner, but stop as soon as you get into the last square of outer road. Remember to draw one segment at a time, stopping three cells out from each cross street.
Delete your 2 lane ramps and the first section you drew of each highway (because the pylons are in the wrong place for that 1st section). Then draw highways to the other corner, stopping once you get into the last square.
With all 4 sections done:
Now we need to connect the four new sections of highway. There will be 1 dead end, 2 corners, 1 T, and 1 connection to the main highway.
The dead end goes in the NW. Just bring the highway over the last road section, then take both sections to ground level and do a little loop at the end.
For the curved sections, bring it over the road same as before, then switch to the curved road tool. With this tool you need to click twice, 1st to set the starting path of the road, then to set where it should curve to. The first click should be straight out until you see the intersection line from the other road. You want the end of the road to be right over that intersection line for the first click. (Unlike the picture you should do the underground road on the inside of the curve first.)
The second click goes on the other section of highway to connect it and you end up like this after you have done both:
The T is a little more involved. We’re going to use the prefab cloverleaf intersection. We don’t really need a 4-way intersection yet, but there is no real downside except a bit more cost. We will want to continue building south eventually so this way we don’t need to replace it later. As you can see, it’s a little large:
We’ll need to clear a few roads out temporarily so it will fit. We’ll be taking out the last block of N/S cross streets permanently, and the E/W cross street temporarily. We’ll also be cutting the corner blocks in half.
Try placing it again. Be sure to rotate it so that the elevated section runs E/W, and it is aligned as well as possible with the 3 highway sections.
After placing it, delete the 8 highway sections on the ends of the cloverleaf.
The south end we will just connect the two highways together for now. The other three sides we will be raising or lowering in as short a distance as possible to match the highways we are connecting to.
Then connect them to the existing highways:
Unfortunately, we still need to get the tram road over the cloverleaf. Start by running segments (of 1-way 2-lane road with tram tracks) from the corners of the block, elevating them one level, and ending them in the small gaps in the cloverleaf.
Then connect the two segments with a straight piece. If you want to, you can give the same treatment to the other two sides (but with regular roads) but they’re not really important. It’s not pretty but it will get the job done.
Connecting to the highway by the bridge is relatively easy. We’ll be messing with this area more later, but for now just delete enough of the highway after the bridge that you can drop a T intersection in, and connect it to your highway as well as the exterior one.
Make sure all of your highways are going in the right direction, it's generally pretty easy to tell because you will see the "dead end" icon anywhere two one way roads are going into one another. One place they might not show up is right at the edges of intersections. Since there is technically somewhere for the traffic to go (the on/off ramps), it won't show the dead end, even if the two highway segments are going the wrong way.
Now it's time to go around and create all your ramps on the 4 new sides as well as the new blocks in the middle. You will use the same process as the first time around though, so I won’t go into detail. I did have a little trouble with the connections by the new cloverleaf we put in at the south end. The ground was sloping down there so steeply that the elevated highway was too low to clear the down ramp going under it. You can try (from simplest to most annoying):
• Shorten the stubs to 2 cells or remove them entirely. (If you do this you may also need to do the longer ramps in two steps, one that goes up/down in as short a distance as possible, and a second that connects to the highway. If you try to do it in one step, it will start out flat and then go up/down and you will have the same problem as you did before.)
• You can move the pylons back a tad (to two cells from the through streets) so you have more room for the ramps. (If this is by the highway junction, you can probably also push the end of the cloverleaf back a cell or two by deleting the highway segment and part of the outer ramp and redoing it.)
• You can play around with leveling the ground out a bit in that area, but will need to delete and recreate the highway/ roads around it so they are at the new ground level.
• If you just can’t get it to work, do what you can. You should be able to get 3 out of four ramps working most likely.
You most likely disconnected your power during all the road work, so run some temporary lines so that you can unpause the game. Then we’ll head over to the old river bed.
If you still have a little water here like I did, level it out a bit so you can run the top road west two and a half blocks. Be careful not to destroy your river wall unless you want it pouring down on your city. Give the water a minute to clear out.
Now we can switch to the solar power plants we unlocked a little while ago. 3 will probably be more than enough for your current power needs, but you can easily expand to 4 or more by just building another road going out two cross streets down.
Connect them into your city by running a wire along the north edge of your city. After that you can get rid of all your old wind plants. You can either run a power line up to your water pumps, or leave that one wind plant in place. Now is also a good time to move our sewer drains to the south. We’ll build water treatment plants down here (they each provide 160k of draining, so I needed 3 at this point).
You should probably just drop another wind turbine here to avoid having to run power lines that you’ll need to avoid/replace later. Be sure to connect it to your water system before you get rid of the old drains. When deleting the old power lines (and water pipe if you want) that were running out to the drains, you can hold down the A button and move the cursor around and it will delete any of that item that you hover over but leave other types of things intact.
Next, we’ll add in our new service blocks. They’ll be the same as the original ones, police station and medical on one edge, elementary and fire station next to them; high school and metro station on the other edge, and a crematorium in the middle. If you have the natural disasters DLC you can tuck a small radio tower in right behind the crematorium where no one is going to build anyway. More happiness!
Since you now have 8 fire stations, you will unlock:
While we're at it lets take a minute to save the game, buy 5 police headquarters, then reload it, giving you:
I’d recommend shifting the universities (and elementary schools next to them) one block further from the central highway so they are in the dead center column. We’re also going to place metro stations in that central column, in line with the existing stations. I put mine centered E/W in the block but that is mostly for aesthetics. Extend the E/W tunnels to connect to the new stations and add additional N/S tunnels between each new pair of stations.
Now we will expand all of your mass transit routes. First, delete your subway route. Create two E/W routes, one for the northern stations, one for the southern. Hit all stops going east, then all stops coming back west and complete the route where you started it. Create 6 N/S routes, one between each pair of stations, that just go from the N station to the S and back.
The tram routes should already be going around your full loop (as long as you deleted the old N/S connecting streets). Just go to each block to add the new stops. But… we never put our tram station back in, so let’s do that near the SW corner, a couple blocks up from the edge (and convert some roads to track roads to connect it to our loops). You’ll also want to connect the gaps between the track loops along the west edge.
After you've added the stops at the end of each E/W block (relative to the direction of travel), you'll also need to set up the totally new loop in the S the same way.
Your four existing bus lines can be expanded one stop at a time, until you hit the next to the last block. As before, alternate which side of the long block the stop is on as you go south. Here is the south end of one of the routes:
You’ll also set up 3 new bus routes on each grid. Now is a good time to move your existing bus depot and build a second one. You want to have one on the outside E/W edge of each grid (roughly in the middle). If you have access to the road maintenance buildings, I would get a second one and move your old one so you have one near each bus depot.
This should give you enough transit lines (10 bus, 4 tram, 8 subway) to get:
Now that the mass transit is squared away, just a few minor things left before we start expanding our zones.
For water, just extend your pipes E&W to cover your entire area (including the outer edges.)
Then run some power lines down the west side to power your bus and tram depots. Drop a temporary windmill for the E depot.
We’re going to sprinkle some dog parks around the city to keep everyone happy. Along the N/S highway (in between the two city grids), I placed one on the west side at block 2, on the E at block 4, W at 6, etc..
On the outer N/S edges they can’t benefit from parks on the other side of the road so we’ll space them a bit closer (every 3 blocks at blocks 1,4,7,10,13,16).
For the E/W edges, space them every 3 small blocks or 1 and a half long blocks. We’ll rearrange them a bit when we add in additional grids.
On the inside of the grid, you can place one adjacent to each service block, on the inner side (relative to E/W) of the blocks. Then place one 2 blocks away from the university in each direction. That's 8 total on the interior.