Then & Now: Spaghetti Junction

Published Apr 4, 2020


Durban - This week’s picture of old and new Durban is taken from the book Durban 1824-1974 and shows the construction of a landmark for many Durbanites: the massive four-level, EB Cloete interchange, more popularly known as Spaghetti Junction.

It is featured in an advert for Ready Mixed Concrete (Natal) which supplied the cement for the massive undertaking, as well as for the Paradise Valley Viaduct, among other infrastructural undertakings.

The main contractors were A Stuart.

The massive beams were placed using three cranes and a concrete pump.

The construction of Durban's RB Cloete Interchange better known as Spaghetti Junction in the 1970s. The main east west carriage way N2 is going up.

Unfortunately the picture was placed over the fold of the massive book, but it shows the second tier east-to-west N2 going up, looking towards Westville.

The free-flowing interchange has, since the mid seventies, connected two national roads that pass through Durban: the Outer Ring Road, the N2, and the main route to Johannesburg, the N3. It is the only four-level interchange in the country, and one of its busiest.

Capacity constraints have led to proposals for the widening of the two main freeways crossing and the access linkages to them, in a multibillion-rand project that includes upgrading interchanges on the N2 from Adams Mission in the south to King Shaka International in the north, and from Cato Ridge in to Durban. The design envisages an arch over the structure to support the extra lanes.

In the modern picture, photographer Shelley Kjonstad tried to capture the vantage point and the extent of the massive project.

Interestingly Durban is not the first city to have a Spaghetti Junction. Residents of Birmingham christened a massive freeway interchange in that city Spaghetti Junction some 15 years earlier.

The Independent on Saturday

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