Spaghetti Junction was the unlikely recipient of birthday wishes today after the sprawling network of carriageways turned 40.
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Web users took to Twitter to congratulate the road system, officially known as Gravelly Hill Interchange, on its 40th birthday.
The junction was given its nickname by Birmingham Evening Mail journalist Roy Smith, who observed it looked like spaghetti on a plate from an aerial view.
The interchange connects the A38 (M) Aston Expressway into central Birmingham with the M6, linking the M1, M5 and M6 when it opened on May 24 1972.
More than 500 concrete columns across 30 acres support numerous carriageways as they wind their way above local canals.
When the junction first opened after a four-year construction project national media gathered to hear a speech from environment secretary Peter Walker.
In 1972 around 40,000 cars used the junction daily, with the present day figure at 210,000.
Steve Price, a Highways Agency patrolman, told the Today Programme Spaghetti Junction is ‘a thing of beauty, certainly if you live in the Midlands’.
‘It’s been here 40 years, people know it and I think you either love it or hate it,’ he continued.
‘But I think most Midlanders will say “yeah I love it, it belongs to Birmingham”.’
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