So I built a junction...

...and it may have been a little overkill

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Written by Josh Humphriss

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Posted: 16 Jun, 2023

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Modified: 16 Jun, 2023

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Overview

The junction connects the ring road, M1 and crystal. It is effectively a 2 motorway intersection, with an additional local route running underneath the M1. All possible directions are accounted for with direct slip roads that don't loop around and back again like in a 4 leaf clover junction. (Note: It is not possible to go between crystal and the M1, as this is redundant since they are in the same direction).

I originally left in the local road to go to crystal, but later realised this is redundant so replaced with with a mandatory path through the junction which significantly improved aesthetics. The junction is confusing to navigate (for example, turning right is to the left of the lane to turn left), but is adequately signposted provided you know where to go.

At one point there are 6 roads on top of each other. This could've been reduced but would've made it less compact and there is no shortage of vertical space at this height above the ground. I think this makes it quite unique and interesting. Very little planning went into building it - I essentially just put the connections in one-by-one and hoped they'd fit. This is also the first major junction that made good use of curves, which would later be implemented in many other junctions.

A drawback is that there is only ever exactly one lane for a given direction, and trucks tend to navigate the junction very slowly, so it is possible to get stuck behind them.

While the junction doesn't have the highest traffic throughput, it is used fairly frequently and it is interesting having a junction that is so complex (even if it is very unnecessary...).

Pictures

Let's be honest, you just want to see the pictures and you didn't actually read that above...

Rail Improvements

Around this area there is also a new rail line which provides a bypass to a busy section of track close to the city. This is intended as a capacity improvement but also improves journey times for those specific routes commonly taken by automatic trains. It also has good onward connectivity to the M1 route.