Road Upgrade Costs

As you build your city, the game will force you to upgrade your roads. Unlike the PC version of SimCity, there really is no rhyme or reason to it. They will force you to upgrade every road no matter what. There's a couple of tricks to postponing it

  • Add a short segment of cross street intersecting the road it wants you to upgrade. The upgrade demand will go away temporarily. The game will eventually ask you to upgrade again, but it might be a different segment.
  • Play the game listed above of temporarily postponing upgrades until it requests a really short segment of road with very little to no population. Let it go abandoned. I had this happen once and was able to let it sit like that for several days. I knew it had a minimal to no impact to my population and it kept further requests away. I'm not sure if that would work permanently because I eventually did go and start doing road upgrades.

Like everything in this game, the road upgrades get expensive. The higher the road classification, the higher the cost. I've summarized the upgrades in the table below. To test this out, I built the shortest segment of road possible and requested road upgrades all the way up to the maximum level.

Road TypeUnit Cost
2 Lane Road Free 
4 Lane Road $        300
6 Lane Road $    1,200
Avenue $    1,500
Boulevard $    2,000
Streetcar $    2,500


  1. This section should be updated. You want to have NO intersections as this is what causes back ups. You want one road winding through the map in such a fashion as to not leave gaps you cant develop. As the Sims complain about the traffic, simply move the residential zone to another road. If you set up the streets properly, you can have two residential zones far apart in terms of roadway but right next to each other for services. I had my population up to 45K with nothing more than two lane roads and just one upgrade to the main road most of the zones were on. Keep expanding services to expand the area and you can have a lot of population without wasting valuable Simoleans on road upgrades. Don't add, take away! - See YouTube videos on this, it is one tip that still seems to be working.

    1. One other option is a 2x2 grid. With four skyscrapers per block, when a section of road goes red, I just move two or three of the adjacent buildings to open squares. I have to do this three or four times a day, but I currently have 165K population with no upgrades. If max density is your goal, the two lane roads are free to demolish at any time and the map can be rearranged for more permanent layout, but this will initially free up lots of coin for more essential utilities.

    2. When road goes red, demolish and build again. I do that around 5 times a day, no cost, happy sims

  2. Thank you for posting the road price information, I enjoy the game and plan to keep a more traditional city plan with roads and this information helps me plan how much in funds i need to set back to complete the road improvements when they come available.

  3. As rightly pointed out, road upgrades are expensive with no value addition except beautiful looking roads. I try to avoid upgrades. Yellows are ignored for sure (obviously). Reds I just bulldoze and rebuild that road. The only time I upgrade is whn that bulldoze process moves a lot of buildings around resulting in a painful process to restore the road. As long as it does not happen, my road is not upgraded.

    Please note that the longer the road, the higher the price. Above page indicates unit price.

  4. 2x2 grid is too small. Although am much further game to roll back and restructure the roads, the better model I see is a 3x2 grid and keep it even. I think the city will look neat enough. Also when you have this placement, you can figure out locations of the services too. For initial play, while you may start with a small police/hospital/fire station, try to have patience and go for the bigger units so that you done spend lot of space on them. Once the major area is covered, other areas can go with the medium sized services.
    For water, I never went beyond water tanks (smallest since I made them as fillers in different places. Again, if you go by the 3x2 grid or something like that you could think of having the bigger unit in one place.

  5. another way is to simply rotate a building so it faces a different direction on a road that isnt red.