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Change is Here!
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4,082 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I promise to stop with the unusual definitions of 'skyscraper' after this.

The reason I've put this here, is because I think it is an under-rated and under-loved landmark, and like Humber Bridge, and Emley Moor is quite a feat of engineering in itself, and quite elegant.

Gravelly Hill Interchange
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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.

Its colloquial name was coined in the 70s by a sub-editor of the Birmingham Evening Mail, Alan Eaglesfield, after he realised that an aerial picture of the complex system of intertwined loops and ramps reminded him of a plate of spaghetti. It provides access to and from the A38 (Tyburn Road), the A5127 (Lichfield Road/Gravelly Hill), and local roads.

The junction covers 30 acres (12 hectares), serves 18 routes and includes 4km (2.5 miles) of slip roads, but only 1km (0.6 miles) of the M6 itself. It has 559 concrete columns, reaching up to 24.4 metres height.

Construction started in 1968 and the junction opened in 1972. It 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.
Underneath the motorway junction are the meeting points of local roads; the rivers Tame, Rea and the Hockley Brook; electricity lines; gas pipelines; the Birmingham Cross-City and Walsall railway lines, and Salford Junction where the Grand Union Canal, Birmingham and Fazeley Canal and Tame Valley Canal meet. The importance of the site for so many services led to the belief that it was a strategic target for a Soviet nuclear weapon during the Cold War.
Wikipedia

Link to Simleyface's excellent photos of Gravelly Interchange - proof that a good photographer can make anything look beautiful!!

 

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It's Sting. So What?
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32,693 Posts
It's called the Gravelly Hill Interchange not the Gravelly Interchange :Yes:.

From the air it looks nothing impressive but when you're in the midst of it, it is quite incredible. Give it a clean, a bit of a paintjob and a little focal point point and it'll be getting high marks but I'll just give it 6/10
 

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Fus-Ro-Dah!
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12,510 Posts
Wow, Smiley's pics are great as usual. I wouldn't have thought that the Spag could look so good.
 

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BAND
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12,217 Posts
Hmm. I'm really quite stuck on how to rate this. I mean, for looks you have to admit it's gonna be pretty low, for engineering excellence, i'm say mid-high, but I just don't know.
 

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3,925 Posts
awww i love it, theres so many walks and canals under all of it, with some great graffiti.

the road that goes off to tyburn, going out of town above all the over roads, you get a great view of birmingham!

theres abit more to the left of the interchange from that picture.
 

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20,843 Posts
I also think that he is low.

Certainly engineers worked hard. It is lot deal of the good work. Certainly however it isn't possible to assess the appearance. It is a functional object. He is sad, that such buildings are killing surroundings. Mainly they are abscissas. For me nothing special. I don't like such buildings.

Matter of the taste. I am greeting.

3/10
 

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wiggledypiggleypuddinghed
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13,066 Posts
i actually thought spaghetti junction was much bigger and more complicated than that! It doesnt look too diferent from a stanard stilted motorway junction
 

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It's Sting. So What?
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32,693 Posts
Believe it or not, it is actually more complicated than that. It's not just a road interchange:

Underneath the motorway junction are the meeting points of local roads; the rivers Tame, Rea and the Hockley Brook; electricity lines; gas pipelines; the Birmingham Cross-City and Walsall railway lines, and Salford Junction where the Grand Union Canal, Birmingham and Fazeley Canal and Tame Valley Canal meet. The importance of the site for so many services led to the belief that it was a strategic target for a Soviet nuclear weapon during the Cold War.
 
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