Work is now complete on highway improvements at Salterhebble Hill, outside Halifax, and the benefits of the project have been felt beyond those just travelling on the route.
The ambitious A629 Salterhebble to Shaw Hill project has included widening Salterhebble Hill to four lanes; installing new traffic light technology and improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, encouraging these healthier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly travel options.
Where possible, the scheme used local materials and suppliers, with on-site equipment, building materials and scaffolding provided by local Calderdale businesses.
Over the duration of the project, Calderdale Council and contractor, Jackson Civil Engineering, engaged the local community to ensure that they benefitted from the work.
This included promoting careers in engineering and construction with local students at Park Lane Learning Trust and Crossley Heath School. They also worked with All Saints’ Junior and Infant School in Halifax, and shared their knowledge to help pupils build a fantastic model of the Humber Bridge for a construction industry competition.
During the project, four apprentices were also recruited to work alongside the construction team and work placements were offered to students from local colleges.
The A629 Salterhebble to Shaw Hill scheme is part of the five-phase A629 scheme to help reduce congestion, improve journey times, boost public transport use and improve cycling and walking conditions along the key route between the towns of Halifax, in Calderdale, and Huddersfield, in Kirklees. The scheme is being supported by £120 million investment from the Combined Authority’s £1 billion West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund, which has been part-funded through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of funding to drive growth and job creation across the Leeds City Region.
As well as the highway widening and living wall, the scheme’s Salterhebble to Shaw Hill section includes new traffic light technology, junction remodelling and improved active travel facilities that will mean better and safer journeys for public transport users, pedestrians and cyclists.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, Cllr Barry Collins, said:
“The Salterhebble Hill phase of the A629 improvement programme has been one of the most complex engineering projects ever undertaken in Calderdale. Throughout the scheme, we’ve made every effort to ensure that the local community has had the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of the Council’s project team and its contractors.
“By working with local young people, providing apprenticeships and nurturing talent, the project has had far reaching benefits beyond the key objectives of improving traffic flow and facilities for cyclists and pedestrians.”
Jackson’s Regional Director, Brett Jarman said:
“Civil Engineering is an industry that is both challenging and rewarding and needs to be promoted as a popular choice for young school leavers. At Jackson, we take this responsibility seriously and are proud to support, train, guide, mentor and upskill individuals, helping to play our role in safeguarding the future of the industry.”
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:
“While our West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Fund schemes are about supporting economic growth and reducing congestion, other benefits, such as opportunities for apprentices and work placements and educational work with local schools and colleges, are also important.”