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Praça das Portas do Cerco
關閘廣場 (Chinese)

Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) - FCA West Section
Maintained by Concelho of Portas do Cerco Public Works
Roads Watersauga

Formed: c. 1580
West end: Torbury - Watersauga border
Continues west as Torbury Highway 2
East end: Posto Fronteiriço das Portas do Cerco
Continues east as Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW)
Autonomous Country: City-State of Watersauga
Major cities: Portas do Cerco

Praça das Portas do Cerco (Unofficial English name: Portas do Cerco Plaza, Traditional Chinese: 關閘廣場), locally known as a praça ("the plaza"), is a 470 meters two-laned roadway linking the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) to Torbury Highway 2. Its entire length is located within the Concelho of Portas do Cerco in the City-State of Watersauga's Western Frontier Closed Area (FCA). As the road is inside the Frontier Closed Area, the road is closed to the general public except holders of a closed area permit, or cross-boundary travellers who have cleared customs at the east end of the road. Under the Frontier Closed Area Act, persons found on this road without a valid permit are subject to prosecution or fine.

As the praça is located within the Frontier Closed Area (FCA), the roadway is also known as the Queen Elizabeth Way - FCA West Section. However, this part of the QEW is not to be officially signed as a highway.

On either sides of the Praça, is a wide broadwalk for pedestrian cross-boundary travellers, as travelling on-foot is very common between the two autonomous countries (this is partially due to the fact that the community of Portas do Cerco was divided into two different autonomous countries in 1991). On the side of the broadwalk is a series of duty-free shops.

Praça das Portas do Cerco is the only 24 hour border crossing between Watersauga and Torbury. It is also one of the very few roads named in Portuguese in the Imaginary Lands of Nicholas.

HistoryEdit

The Praça was originally built in the 1570s, when the Portuguese began to occupy the area and establishing their colony of Sossegado. The Praça served as a connecting link between the western half of the concelho (now within the Free State of Torbury), and the Porto Velho das Portas do Cerco (Old Port of Portas do Cerco). Eventually businesses were set up along the road, and the road became the main street for the concelho.

In 1953, when the territory of Sossegado was returned to the Transitional Council of the Imaginary Lands, there was a discussion of a coastal link from the former territory to the City of Old Watersauga, as well as adding a border crossing to the Free State of Torbury. The debate was either to include the Praça as part of the highway, or build a bypass around the area.

In 1954, the Closed Area Act required this road to be off-limits to the general public.

In the interest of the increased traffic and potential boost to the local tourism, the residents at Portas do Cerco have voted for the scheme to have Queen Elizabeth Way utilizing the Praça to connect with the proposed Customs building and border crossing. The road is to be jointly managed by the local concelho government and the state government as part of the Watersauga Highway Network.

In 1955, the routing of Watersauga's first coastal highway was finalized and constructions began that summer. As the highway was completed in December 1959, traffic is being redirected onto the praça after travellers have passed border customs. The limits of the praça also limited to the current 470-m section, west of the border crossing building only.

Future ProspectsEdit

As there is a substantial increase in the number of travellers between the two autonomous countries, and an increase of traffic on the rest of the Queen Elizabeth Way corridor, there are plans to upgrade the entire length of the Queen Elizabeth Way into a full-fledged expressway. When this is built, there will be a bypass to the Free State of Torbury and a second border crossing around the existing praça.

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