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Interesting Facts About Spaghetti Junction

Interesting Facts About Spaghetti Junction

Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham, UK – the most complex motorway intersection in the world. It’s unique layout and dull colour has made it one of the most famous eyesores in the world.

With its winding roads and unexpected gradient variations, it makes for one of the most confusing junctions in England for motorists to navigate. Despite its appearance, it was a British engineering feat when it first opened in the 1970s and we’re here to celebrate this giant concrete structure.

Spaghetti Junction Birmingham

Gravelly Hill Interchange, aka ‘Spaghetti Junction’, from the air, at night. Taken by the West Midlands Police helicopter.

Image Credit ] – [ West Midlands Police ] – [ Wiki File ] – [ Creative Commons ] – [ Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic ]


Did you know?

  • It opened on 24th May 1972 with its first motorists using the junction at 4:30pm the same day
  • It’s real name is the Gravelly Hill Interchange
  • It was dubbed ‘Spaghetti Junction’ by the Birmingham press
  • It will never be labelled as ‘Spaghetti Junction’ on a road map, although you would find it in the Oxford English Dictionary
  • The aim of the junction was to join up the M1, M5 and M6 motorways, including the A38 to bring passing traffic into the heart of Birmingham
  • It’s designed to carry 75,000 vehicles a day. When it opened, it carried half that
  • 2 billion vehicles have been estimated to have passed through the junction since it opened in 1972
  • 5 million tonnes of freight passes through every week
  • With construction starting in 1968, it took 4 years to complete
  • At the time, it cost £10.8 million to build
  • It has 559 concrete columns, with some reaching up to 80 feet high
  • 175,000 cubic yards of concrete was used during its construction
  • The junction covers of 30 acres of land
  • Spaghetti Junction is split over 5 different levels
  • It was designed to last 120 years
  • Repairs have been made to the reinforced concrete since the 1980s
  • During these repairs, small amounts of old concrete is cut out using a jet of water, pressurised at 16,000 psi – this removes the risk of damage to other parts of the structure
  • It costs the Highways Agency around £7 million a year to ensure the safety of motorists
  • In 1974, Birmingham historian Vivian Bird, referred to the junction as ‘plandalism’, calling it a wall that imprisoned the people of Birmingham
  • Spaghetti Junction has its own weather station to monitor conditions
  • You would have to travel 73 miles if you wanted to drive along every road of the junction itself whilst also adhering to the Highway Code
  • After its opening, school children would often take trips down there as part of the curriculum

Love it or hate it, Spaghetti Junction has become somewhat of a West Midlands landmark, with hundreds of thousands of motorists passing through it everyday, it continues to play an integral part in joining the North West and South East together.

With a good number of decades left on its initially devised expiry date, we’re sure it’ll continue to join Britain’s regions for many years to come.

Here at Concrete Drilling Services Ltd, we’re dedicated to ensuring excellent results of exceptional quality for our customers. Endeavouring to stay at the cutting edge of innovation, we ensure our demolition, cutting, sawing, bursting and drilling services are carried out in an extremely eco-friendly and responsible manner.

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