Spinning our Wheels

Spinning our Wheels is a commuting blog about the challenges of getting around Atlanta by car, bus, MARTA, bicycles and on foot written by transportation reporter David Wickert

America's interchanges, artfully photographed

When you're stuck in rush-hour gridlock on Spaghetti Junction, it's hard to appreciate the sheer complexity and in some ways, the pure poetry of the thing.

However, the fact that these concrete constructions are an engineering feat has not gone unnoticed by photographer Peter Andrew. He has taken an artist's eye to the nation's most fascinating interchanges, and the result is worth a look in a recent photo essay on Politico.com, which features overhead photographs of some of the world's most incredible examples of highway interchanges. Particularly cool are the I-10/I-110 interchange in Los Angeles and the I-40/Highway 87 interchange in Amarillo, Texas.

It's worth noting that Atlanta will soon get two newly redesigned interchanges. The Ga. 400/I-285 interchange will rival Spaghetti Junction after it is completely rebuilt over the next five years, with more flyover ramps and new lanes added to both freeways for miles in either direction. (Oh, and it will also be the most expensive road project in state history, at an eye-popping cost of about $950 million.)

The I-75/I-285 interchange, or "Cobb Cloverleaf" also is being tinkered with as part of the mammoth Northwest Corridor project, which adds 30 miles of optional toll lanes along I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties. The tallest of the new toll lane bridges will arch 105 feet above ground level --15 feet higher than the tallest bridge of Spaghetti Junction -- as it passes over the Cobb Cloverleaf.

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