City builds ‘Spaghetti Junc­tion’

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - ByWUYONGin Shenyang wuy­ong@chi­

Shenyang in Liaon­ing province is set to have its own ver­sion of “Spaghetti Junc­tion” next year and some mo­torists have ex­pressed con­cern that they might get lost in the city’s new­com­pli­cated over­pass sys­tem.

Spaghetti Junc­tion is a nick­name given to a com­pli­cated in­ter­twined road traf­fic in­ter­change that re­sem­bles a plate of spaghetti. It was coined by Birm­ing­ham Mail re­porter Roy Smith when he said an ae­rial photo of a con­struc­tion site in Birm­ing­ham, Eng­land, looked “like a plate of spaghetti”.

The junc­tion in Shenyang is to have 26 ar­ter­ies, with a draw­ing that cir­cu­lated on­line show­ing that the Wu’ai Over­pass has used 24 English let­ters and two com­bined let­ter com­bi­na­tions, to la­bel the dif­fer­ent ar­ter­ies.

“We be­lieve it will im­prove traf­fic flow at the in­ter­sec­tion of the city’s south gate,” said WangWei of the Shenyang city con­struc­tion ad­min­is­tra­tion bureau.

The over­pass, con­struc­tion of which started late last year and is to be com­pleted next year, was partly opened to traf­fic in the past month.

Li Guil­ing, a 36-year-old lit­er­a­ture mag­a­zine editor, said she has used the over­pass to cut her jour­ney time from two hours to 90 min­utes.

How­ever, she ad­mit­ted that she only dares to drive on the over­pass with her GPS nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem.

“With­out it, I will def­i­nitely get lost. Then, it might be a chance for me to teach my baby girl how to read all th­ese English let­ters,” she joked.

“When the over­pass is com­pleted, my travel time will be cut to 30 min­utes, if there are no traf­fic jams,” she said.

Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties said they be­lieve their ef­forts to pro­vide signs that are eas­ier to read will ben­e­fit driv­ers and en­able the over­pass to serve its pur­pose more ef­fec­tively.

“This is the first over­pass in the city that has so many ar­ter­ies. We will make ev­ery ef­fort to en­sure traf­fic runs smoothly and safely,” said a source from Shenyang traf­fic po­lice, who asked not to be named.

He said they would im­port more than 70 traf­fic signs show­ing both street names and iconic land­marks such as con­ven­tion cen­ters, parks and the lo­cal air­port. The ar­ter­ies will be painted one of five dif­fer­ent colors to re­mind mo­torists of the direc­tion to the city’s ma­jor land­marks.

“We un­der­stand driv­ers’ con­cerns. The in­ter­change will be opened step by step, so peo­ple have time to adapt to this big project. There is noth­ing to worry about,” he said. Zhang Tong­tong con­trib­uted to this story.

An il­lus­tra­tion shows the com­pli­cated over­pass that is un­der con­struc­tion in Shenyang, Liaon­ing province.

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