Tom Moreland Interchange
|Tom Moreland Interchange|
US 23 / SR 13 Buford Highway
Tom Moreland Interchange, colloquially known as the Spaghetti Junction, is the intersection of Interstate 85 (I-85) and I-285, along with several access roads, in northern DeKalb County, Georgia, northeast of Atlanta and just to the south of Norcross in Gwinnett County. It is named for Tom Moreland, a former commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) from 1975 to 1987.
I-85 is a major traffic corridor from the northeastern suburbs of Atlanta in the Gwinnett County area into downtown Atlanta. I-285 is a beltway around Atlanta. In the northern I-285 corridor, in the area from I-85 counterclockwise to I-75, there has been a large amount of development of office space. Spaghetti Junction was designed to remove choke points and reduce congestion in the I-85 and I-285 interchange, which had been a cloverleaf.
The interchange is a stack interchange. Because of a northeast-to-southwest ramp that passes over the fourth level of the interchange, Spaghetti Junction is a five-level stack interchange, not a traditional four-level stack. It contains additional ramps to accommodate traffic on four nearby side roads: Buford Highway/US 23, Chamblee–Tucker Road, Pleasantdale Road, and Northcrest Road. The interchange currently handles approximately 300,000 vehicles each day. It has 14 bridges, the highest rising 90 feet (27 m), running from Northcrest Road to I-85 south. The newer interchange replaced an older cloverleaf interchange dating back to 1958 and was constructed between 1983 and 1987 as part of the Freeing the Freeways program to relieve congestion on Atlanta-area interstates.
Origin of nickname
The actual origin of the name in Atlanta is attributed to traffic reporter Dave Straub. As construction was about midway completed on the massive 11-mile (18 km) ramp system, Straub was flying over it in a helicopter reporting a traffic jam and commented that it was beginning to look like an "overturned bowl of Spaghetti". He then commented, "I think I'll start calling it 'Spaghetti Junction.'" Listeners complained about Straub's use of the "food reference" in his traffic reports, but Straub insisted that it would become a household term. And it did. He stuck with it, and soon, merchants began advertising their locations as being just north or south of "Spaghetti Junction".
In popular culture
The interchange's colloquial name of "Spaghetti Junction" is mentioned in an eponymous song by the Atlanta-based hip hop group Outkast in their 2000 album Stankonia and in the film Baby Driver, which is set in Atlanta.
The interchange has also been pictured on a 2017 album cover, Quality Control: Control the Streets Volume 1. The album features many rising artists that call Atlanta their home, including Migos, Lil Yachty, and Young Thug.
- "Tom Moreland Interchange" (PDF).
- "Interstate 285". kurumi.com.
- Ledford, Joey (July 30, 2004). "'Spaghetti Junction' took getting used to". The Atlanta Constitution. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
- "Atlantans, Edgar Wright's Baby Driver Is a Serious Love Letter to Your City". Paste Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2017.
- "Stream Quality Control Music's 'Control the Streets Volume 1' - XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved July 3, 2018.