The final section of the long-awaited Aberdeen bypass is to finally open tomorrow (19 February) after a deal between contractors and Transport Scotland was made.
Joint venture contractors Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try have supplied Scotland’s transport body with the technical assurances it sought for the River Don Crossing, which it asked for before the Scottish Government would accept handover.
Scotland’s transport secretary Michael Matheson has confirmed the final 4.5 mile section of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) between Craibstone and Parkhill will welcome its first motorists in the morning.
Matheson has previously hit out at Aberdeen Roads Limited – the consortium responsible for delivering the scheme – for missing its last deadline at the end of January, insisting the government is “not prepared to pick up the tab for mistakes made by construction companies”.
The bypass has suffered from numerous setbacks over the last two years with Carillion who had been part of the original contracted consortium adding to the problems of construction progression when it liquidated at the start of 2018.
Galliford Try and Balfour Beatty were able to open a pivotal 20-mile section to motorists on 12 December after encountering a series of problems on the 36-mile bypass. But one of the biggest stumbling blocks has been the Don crossing after investigations found ducts in the structure were displaced.
Matheson has said the government will continue to work constructively with Aberdeen Roads Limited as it moves into the operational phase of the project.
“This new section of the AWPR between Parkhill and Craibstone now allows the full benefits of this transformational project to be fully realised,” he added. “Since the major part of the road opened in December 2018, the overwhelmingly positive feedback has demonstrated the positive impact that infrastructure can bring about in people’s lives, the quality of their environment and the economy as a whole.
Leader of Aberdeenshire Council Jim Gifford added: “This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Aberdeenshire Council’s £75million investment in this transformational project has gone a long way and the result is truly impressive. There have certainly been challenges along the way but we must now focus on the benefits we are already beginning to enjoy in terms of improved connectivity and reduced congestion, as well as the opportunities the route presents to existing and new businesses. I’d like to thank everybody involved for making this vision a reality.”