Spaghetti junction

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The Gravelly Hill Interchange in Birmingham, England –a 1972-built Spaghetti Junction

Spaghetti junction is a nickname sometimes given to a complex or massively intertwined road traffic interchange that is said to resemble a plate of spaghetti. Such interchanges may incorporate a variety of interchange design elements in order to maximize connectivity.


The term was originally used to refer to the Gravelly Hill Interchange on the M6 motorway in Birmingham, United Kingdom.[1] In an article published in the Birmingham Evening Mail on 1 June 1965 the journalist Roy Smith described plans for the junction as "like a cross between a plate of spaghetti and an unsuccessful attempt at a Staffordshire knot", with the headline above the article on the newspaper's front page, written by sub-editor Alan Eaglesfield, reading "Spaghetti Junction".[2][3][4] Since then many complex interchanges around the world have acquired the nickname.

Throughout North America, this type of interchange is widely referred to as a spaghetti junction, mixing bowl, knot, or maze, often including the name of the freeway, city, or notable landmark near enough to the interchange.

By country[edit]


New South Wales[edit]






  • The interchange of Deerfoot Trail, Bow Bottom Trail, Anderson Road and 15 Street SE in Calgary. Maps were published in local newspapers to assist drivers with navigating the complex interchange when it opened in 1982.





New Zealand[edit]

South Africa[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

A complicated interchange between I-96, M-5, I-275, and I-696 in Novi, Michigan


  • Downtown Birmingham




The Tom Moreland Interchange in DeKalb County, Georgia, a five level stack with frontage roads 33°53′31″N 84°15′33″W / 33.892070°N 84.259110°W / 33.892070; -84.259110


Aerial photo of the Jane Byrne Interchange, (formerly the Circle Interchange), looking southwest, Chicago







New Jersey[edit]




  • Spaghetti Bowl, where I-45, Allen Parkway, Memorial Drive, Houston Avenue, McKinney Street, Dallas Street, and Pierce Street meet in Downtown Houston.
  • Spaghetti Bowl, where I-10, I-110, and US 54 meet just east of Downtown El Paso, Texas.[19]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Spaghetti junction". English Collins Dictionary. HarperCollins Publishers LLC. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  2. ^ Addison, Paul (2010). No Turning Back. Oxford: OUP Oxford. p. 139. ISBN 978-0192192677.
  3. ^ "Spaghetti Junction myth is untangled". Birmingham Mail. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  4. ^ Moran, Joe (2010). On Roads. London: Profile Books. p. 45. ISBN 978-1846680601. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  5. ^ Ketumile, Kesentse (25 January 2016). "Hello spaghetti, bye bye traffic circles". Botswana Daily News. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Francistown Spaghetti Junction Opens for Public Use". The Midweek Sun. 16 December 2016. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  7. ^ Byers, Jim (7 January 2008). "Untangling Etobicoke's messy Six Points interchange". Toronto Star. Star Media Group. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Etobicoke's 'Spaghetti Junction' to be closed all weekend as bridges come down". CBC News. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  9. ^ Mirabelli, Julian (30 May 2019). "Residential Development Proposed Beside 427-QEW Interchange". UrbanToronto. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  10. ^ Chartres, John (18 December 1970). "'Spaghetti Junction' opens, without warning signs". The Times. London. Retrieved 21 June 2012.(subscription required)
  11. ^ JJohnson, W.M. "A627(M) Rochdale–Oldham Motorway". Lancashire County Council. Archived from the original on 29 August 2006. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  12. ^ "Caltrans plans I-80-580 lane closures for MacArthur maze work". Contra Costa Times. 12 July 2013.
  13. ^ "Maze Collapse News". Metropolitan Transportation Commission (San Francisco Bay Area). Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2014. The 580 connector ramp at the MacArthur Maze reopened Thursday evening
  14. ^ "Tanker fire destroys part of MacArthur Maze / 2 freeways closed near Bay Bridge". 29 April 2007.
  15. ^ "Spaghetti Junction tops list of worst freight bottlenecks". Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  16. ^ Koerner, Michael G. (11 July 1998). "Highway Feature of the Week". Gribble Nation. Archived from the original on 4 July 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Spaghetti Junction". 20 April 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  18. ^ Lakin, Matt (26 August 2012). "Junction for malfunction". Knoxville News Sentinel. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  19. ^ Acosta, Gustavo Reveles (17 October 2010). "Gustavo Reveles Acosta: Freeway ramps: What's in a name?". El Paso Times. ISSN 0746-3588. Retrieved 10 June 2013.