The interchange – known as the Gravelly Hill Interchange – carries more than 200,000 vehicles each day and is part of the M6, which runs through the West Midlands. It also connects traffic moving in and out of downtown Birmingham, thanks to uninterrupted communication with the A38.

Originally designed for around 70,000 cars a day, when the roads were much quieter, the elevated structure, supported by national roads, is an important part of the infrastructure for the UK economy and continues to play an important role in helping freight and logistics companies move goods. Country.

Nearly 26,000 trucks, more than 31,000 cars, which also use the interchange and the M6 ​​for travel, use the road daily.

National Highways Customer Service Director Melanie Clark said:

Spaghetti Junction is a special part of the England motorway network. This is something to be proud of in Birmingham because it is known around the world – quite rightly – as a feat of engineering.

When it was developed 50 years ago, no one could have predicted that the Gravelly Hill interchange would carry about 200,000 vehicles each day.

As traffic levels increase, so do our maintenance and safety regimes, which play an important role in maintaining road safety for the tens of thousands of motorists who use our network every day. We know that almost 26,000 carriers use it every day, which testifies to the strategic importance of the route for businesses across the country.

It’s also incredibly appropriate that the 50th anniversary of the road’s opening coincides with this year’s Birmingham, which hosts the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Spaghetti Junction will play an important role in helping to connect athletes, sports enthusiasts and tourists with the city during the event.

The Minister of Roads Baroness Vere said:

Spaghetti Junction is both an iconic landmark and indispensable to the UK economy, providing substantial links to the Midlands and beyond. Its longevity over the past 50 years is a testament to all those working to preserve it.

Head of Public Policy at Logistics UK Michelle Gardner said:

Spaghetti Junction is an important part of a strategic road network that helps logistics companies move goods efficiently across the West Midlands and beyond. The logistics industry relies on efficient road infrastructure to support the UK economy and society; we are excited to join the National Highways in celebrating the 50th anniversary of this important junction.

The Mayor of West Midlands Andy Street said:

Spaghetti Junction has become an iconic landmark of the Gate, so we are quite right to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

At the time of its creation, it was actually considered a real engineering feat. So much so that my grandfather took me on a visit while it was being built.

Over the years, it has played an important role in ensuring that goods, people and businesses can come to and from the region, and will undoubtedly continue to do so for many years to come – not least in the year we host the Commonwealth Games. .

The sprawling structure is known as the Gravelli Hill junction.

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, National Highways teamed up with Glenn Howells Architects in Birmingham to restore the original model of the architect, which was built in the 1960s.

The project became a love affair for the practice designers, who carefully repaired the structure, updated the landscape and greenery and placed it on the conference table.

National Highways plans to put the model in various educational institutions to encourage young people to think about the world of technology.

Spaghetti Junction Model

The refurbished Spaghetti Junction model will be used as part of the school’s interaction program to encourage young people to think about engineering

Glenn Howells Architects head of model shop Pierre Greenway said:

We didn’t really want to change the model because you won’t see the original anymore. We wanted the viewer to be able to see the original model, updating it to the present.

The model shows a huge scale of design, and it is wonderful that you can play a role in restoring this work for the future and encourage young people to think about the world of engineering and construction.

To celebrate this celebration, Heinz also created a limited set of 500 cans in memory of the spaghetti.

Did you know

  • This is the junction of M6, A38, A38 (M), which connects Birmingham and M6.
  • The long construction of the Spaghetti Junction means that there are more than 250 spans, crossbars and expansion joints, more than 600 columns and more than 3,000 support supports.
  • The length of the sliding roads is about 2.5 miles, and the M6 ​​itself is less than a mile.
  • The Birmingham Evening Mail described the road as “a cross between a plate of spaghetti and a failed Staffordshire knot attempt”, coining the phrase “Spaghetti Junction”.
  • Maintaining the design and keeping it safe and fit every year costs around £ 7 million
  • It was designed by engineer Sir Evan Owen Williams.
  • Work on the road began in 1968.
  • It took four years to complete, and it is subject to regular maintenance programs, many of which are underway.
  • The highest point of the structure is about 80 feet in the air.
  • The site covers about 30 acres, and teams walk an average of 12-15 miles a day during inspections
  • Spaghetti Junction continues to enjoy international fame, creating a shooting background for Ready Player One, and some scenes have been filmed under construction. Tall concrete columns became the perfect backdrop for the film, which came out in cinemas in 2018.
  • For the filming, special graffiti patterns were glued to the concrete structures and various props added to the set, including cars and tires, and a “camp” was built for the new film.
  • The film crew made significant efforts to protect the structure and make sure nothing was damaged during the filming.

General queries

Representatives of the public should contact the contact center of the national highways by phone 0300 123 5000.

Media inquiries

Journalists need to contact the press service of the national highways on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to talk to the most suitable press officer.

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