Ramming highways through the middle of American cities was undoubtedly one of the worst mistakes of the 20th century — demolishing urban habitat, dividing neighborhoods, and erecting structures that suck the life out of places. What could be worse than a highway through the middle of town? How about when two highways intersect, with all their assorted high-speed ramps carving out huge chunks of land to move cars.
But despite their massive scale and the huge sums we spend on them, highway interchanges in American cities can seem invisible. After all, no one ever goes to hang out by the interchange.
So, to give you a good look, we put together this list of some of the most enormous interchanges in U.S. cities. Just imagine what cities could do with all this space…
Louisville: Kennedy Interchange (64/65/71)
Louisville’s Kennedy Interchange sits just north of downtown, forming an immense barrier to the city’s waterfront. Gigantic as it may be, this interchange will be getting even bigger as Kentucky and Indiana move forward with the $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges project. Even the New York Times lamented the effect of this highway expansion on downtown neighborhoods. But when Louisville activists argued that a portion of the roadway feeding into the interchange should be torn down, they were steamrolled by powerful political interests.