Intimidating Road Systems - Britain's Birmingham Spaghetti Junction

Birmingham's Spaghetti Junction has been voted Britain's most intimidating road system. The second most hair-raising intersection area, according to a survey of 3,225 drivers, was the M8 and its junctions through central Glasgow while Marshable Arch in central London stood third. Almost one in 10 drivers say they would avoid "Scary" junctions altogether, and as a result drive an average of 238 miles extra per year!!!

Gravelly Hill Interchange, better known as Spaghetti Junction, is junction 6 of the M6 motorway where it meets the A38(M) Aston Expressway in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The junction covers 30 acres (12 hectares), serves 18 routes and includes 4 km (2.5 miles) of slip roads, but only 1 km (0.6 miles) of the M6 itself. Across 5 different levels, it has 559 concrete columns, reaching up to 24.4 metres (80 ft) height. The engineers had to elevate thirteen and a half miles of motorway to accommodate two railway lines, three canals, and two rivers.

Construction started in 1968 and the junction opened in November 1972 by the then environment secretary Peter Walker. In an unusal meeting of old and new transport technology, the pillars supporting the flyovers over the Grand Union Canal had to be carefully placed to enable a horse-drawn canal barge to pass under the interchange without fouling the towing rope. The junction has undergone major repair work several times since, due to the very heavy traffic through the junction, and some alleged cost-saving measures during its construction. In November 2007, a sliproad running from the Tyburn Road onto the Aston Expressway was closed to undergo urgent repair works. Upon inspection, it was found that Spaghetti Junction itself was in need of repair work due to salt and grit weakening the joints in the structure.

[Source: Wikipedia]


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