The junction's official name is Gravelly Hill Interchange, but this name is not used very often. The junction links the M6 with the A38(M) motorway which passes through Birmingham. The interchange was opened in 24 May 1972, and was given its popular name by local journalists.
The junction covers 30 acres, serves 18 routes and includes 4 km (2.5 miles) of slip roads. There are five levels, and it flies over two railway lines, three canals and two rivers. It took nearly four years to build it, against an estimated three years. It cost £8 million, which is a deceptively small amount. It can only be understood by realising the extent of monetary inflation during the past half century.
The junction has had a lot of repair work done a number of times since it was built. There is very heavy traffic through the junction, and there were some alleged cost-saving measures during its construction.
- "London road junction 'scariest'". BBC News. 12 December 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- On 1 June 1965, reporter Roy Smith described plans for the then unbuilt junction as a "cross between a plate of spaghetti and an unsuccessful attempt at a Staffordshire knot" and sub-editor Alan Eaglesfield headlined the article "Spaghetti Junction". Moran, Joe (2010). On Roads. London: Profile Books. p. 45. ISBN 1846680603. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
- Elkes, Neil (16 May 2012). "Birmingham Mail's role in creating Spaghetti Junction legend". Birmingham Mail. Birmingham. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
- "The Motorway Archive; Midland Links Motorways". The Motorway Archive. Archived from the original on 26 January 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2007.
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