The Scottish Government has announced a new, six-month delay on the troubled £745m Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) project.
The project was most recently scheduled to open this spring. Then earlier this month one of consortium ARL’s partners (Balfour Beatty) said it expected the completion date to be summer 2018. Transport Scotland then investigated this and decided to push the opening date back even further to the autumn, having spoken to other consortium members.
Transport Scotland said: ‘The outcome from the discussions with ARL is that we now expect to be able to open the project in Autumn 2018. The contractor has reported there have been a number of issues that have contributed to this decision, with the impact of Storm Frank during winter 2015/16, recent extreme weather during early March and the collapse of Carillion all having an impact on the opening date.’
Economy secretary Keith Brown said: ‘While this revision to the opening date is very disappointing to the people of the North East, we have to accept the expert advice of our contractors on the ground who are delivering this significant project.
‘Clearly there has been a huge amount of work that has gone in to getting the project to where we are now. I would like to pay tribute to the effort of the people who are working hard to get this project over the finishing line.
‘I understand how highly anticipated this project is for those living and working in the region and the patience local communities have shown during the construction process, I would like to thank them for their continued patience as we enter the final stages of the project. Transport Scotland will continue to work closely with ARL to open sections of the road at the earliest opportunity.’
He added: ‘The total scheme cost estimate is £745m and this remains unchanged as part of this announcement. Under the terms of the contract, ARL does not receive payment for the work until a section of road is open to traffic.’