Spaghetti junction

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The Gravelly Hill Interchange in Birmingham, England - the original Spaghetti Junction

Spaghetti Junction is a nickname sometimes given to a complicated 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.

Japan, somewhat colloquially, has adopted the term tentacle junction in lieu of the Western phrase.

By country[edit]


New South Wales[edit]





  • The interchange between Bloor Street, Dundas Street, and Kipling Avenue in Toronto's west end, officially known as the Six Points Interchange, but often referred to as "Spaghetti Junction" by local residents.[7] This interchange is being demolished and reconfigured from 2019-2020 to become an at-grade junction.[8]

New Zealand[edit]

South Africa[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]



Aerial photo of the Circle Interchange, looking southwest, Chicago.


The Kennedy Interchange in Louisville.




New Jersey[edit]

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 0192192671. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Spaghetti Junction myth is untangled". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  4. ^ Moran, Joe (2010). On Roads. London: Profile Books. p. 45. ISBN 1846680603. 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. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  7. ^ Byers, Jim (7 January 2008). "Untangling Etobicoke's messy Six Points interchange If the late Jane Jacobs had nightmares, they looked like this". Toronto Star. Star Media Group. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Chartres, John (18 December 1970). "'Spaghetti Junction' opens, without warning signs". The Times. London: News Corporation. Retrieved 21 June 2012.(subscription required)
  10. ^ JJohnson, W.M. "A627(M) Rochdale–Oldham Motorway". Lancashire County Council. Archived from the original on 29 August 2006. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  11. ^ "Spaghetti Junction tops list of worst freight bottlenecks". Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Spaghetti Junction". 20 April 2005. Retrieved 3 July 2018.