WE tend to take the York bypass for granted these days - when we're not cursing it for being jammed with traffic, that is.

Our main photograph today, however, shows just what an impressive engineering project it was when it was completed in 1976.

A nine-mile dual carriageway stretch of the A64 designed to bypass the city was opened in April that year, at a cost of £12 million.

Our main photo, which dates from the year the bypass opened and which is taken from The Press's own archives, shows figures huddled beneath the soaring bulk of the road, presumably at the point where it crosses the River Ouse south of York. The colossal scale of the bridge, on its series of heavy concrete pillars, dwarfs the figures standing beneath.

A photograph taken at the same spot a year earlier, when only half the bridge had been completed, is a stark contrast - showing just how much work had yet to be done.

Sometimes, puzzle as we might, we just can't work out exactly what some of the photographs in our archives do show.

Tucked away in an old file marked 'Traffic: Roads' was a photograph from 1973 showing what looks like an old Ford turning off a main road onto a side road. "A64 inc York Bypass 1973" the caption on the back of the photograph says helpfully .

York Press: Traffic: Roads: A64 inc York Bypass 1973 (14597362)

The picture was clearly taken before the dual carriageway bypass was built: but does anyone recognise precisely where it is?

Two more photographs from the same file show major roads construction and maintenance work. One was taken in 1978, the other in 1987: again, see if you can recognise where...

York Press: Traffic: Roads: Constuction and Maintenance 1990 (14178342)

There is no real reason for including in today's Yesterday Once More the photograph of a workman busy with a saw cutting a gouge across a road just inside York's bar walls - it has made it onto these pages just because we think it is a great picture.

The photograph was taken in 1990, and we suspect it may show Bishophill - perhaps Lower Priory Street or Dewsbury Terrace? If so, the workman may be installing barriers to stop through traffic. Do any readers know?

There is a wonderful clarity to our photograph of the Esplanade Car Park, taken in 1959. For some reason it looks very cold. The bare branches of the trees are a clue that the photograph was taken in winter - but the air itself looks cold and clear.

Not so that in our last photograph, which shows smoke belching out of the chimneys of rows of York terraces.

York Press: 30 September 1966 - "Smoke belches out of the chimneys - smoke which forms part of the atmosphere we breathe. York City Council agreed in 1960 that something should be done - but today, six years later, citizens are still waiting for action. (1459737

That smoke went to form part of the atmosphere we breathe, the caption adds. "York City Council agreed in 1960 that something should be done - but today, six years later, citizens are still waiting for action."

Almost 50 years after that caption was written, air quality in York remains a problem - particularly for those living in pollution hot-spots such as Fishergate and Blossom Street. These days it is caused more by traffic fumes than by the smoke of countless home fires burning, however... which brings us neatly back to that jammed bypass with which we began.