WHAT a difference a year makes.

Howard Civil Engineering – the main contractor working on the £10.3 million Hard Ings Road improvement scheme in Keighley – has released aerial photos showing the progress made during the past 12 months.

The drone images compare the works in July last year to how the scene looks now, with the project nearing completion.

Work began on the widening of Hard Ings Road into a dual carriageway in April last year.

The scheme also includes the provision of an extra lane at what the company refers to as the Beechcliffe Roundabout, close to Keighley Retail Park, where Hard Ings Road joins the A629 Aire Valley trunk road to Steeton and Silsden.

The additional lane, on the approach to Keighley, is designed to improve road safety and reduce congestion.

“We have significantly reduced the diameter of the roundabout – undertaking earthworks to remove the existing kerb line and subsequently increase the carriageway width,” said a spokesman.

“The roundabout is currently top soiled, but residents and commuters can expect it to be beautifully landscaped by Bradford Council once the planting season commences.

“Traffic islands and central reservations have been remodelled to complement the new roundabout, whilst maintaining the same manoeuvres and capacity as before. Motorists entering the roundabout from the A629 will notice that there are now two dedicated left-turn lanes!

“Below ground, we have installed a new drainage system for the roundabout – including gullies, chambers and an attenuation tank.

“Beechcliffe Roundabout has also been given a fresh new look with the installation of new kerbing, asphalt surfacing completion, new road markings, traffic signs and street lighting.”

Work has also been carried out on the Bradford Road/Victoria Park roundabout, near Alston Retail Park.

The spokesman said: “Although the main kerb line leading from Hard Ings Road to Bradford Road Roundabout has remained in a similar position to the original alignment, we have reshaped the footpath, installed drainage channels and introduced a new storm water sewer below ground to serve the new features.

“During our time onsite, we have also undertaken extensive diversion works to the utility companies’ apparatus which were located in this area.”

Howard Civil Engineering says the images illustrate the “fantastic” improvements made to the width of Hard Ings Road, between Beechcliffe Roundabout and the ambulance station.

It said the difference was particularly evident outside the Fibreline plant.

Properties along that strip have been, or will be, subject to access improvement works before completion of the scheme – which was originally scheduled for May, but is now due this autumn.

The spokesman added: “The improvement works along Hard Ings Road have included the construction of sheet-piled retaining walls faced with natural stone, stone boundary walls and a new carriageway and footways.

“We have also carried out earthworks to remove the existing kerb line, assisted multiple utility diversions and established a new drainage system – including large-diameter attenuation pipework – in addition to providing new signage and street lighting.”

The scheme has been developed by Bradford Council.

Finance was provided through the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund, as part of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs.