Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson has 'expressed delight' that a significant section of the long-delayed Aberdeen bypass project is set to be opened next week.
The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR/B-T) project has caused many arguments between Transport Scotland and its contractors - who carry the costs for scheme delays.
Following the collapse of Carillion in January, Galliford Try is one of two remaining parties (with Balfour Beatty) to Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL), the consortium building the road.
As recently as November, a row flared up after Galliford Try confirmed the project would be delayed until December due to complications and weather delays with the Don Crossing section.
The recent announcement follows 'weeks of intensive talks with the project’s contractor'.
This news comes after ARL informed the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee that its lenders have agreed to open the new section of road between the A90 at both Stonehaven and Craibstone and the A956 between Cleanhill and Charleston.
The new section will provide North East road users with access to around 20 miles (32km) of new road, which means more than 85% of the project will be open to traffic from next week.
Mr Matheson, said: 'It is disappointing my personal intervention was required in order to move this matter forward. I question why it has taken ARL this long to release these benefits to the North East when the road has been ready to open on October 5 and payments to ARL could have commenced earlier.
However, he added: 'We should also keep in mind that technical issues with the Don Crossing are the sole reason the road is not open today.
'ARL has said it aims to finish the bridge before Christmas but has also correctly warned the remaining works are complex, very weather sensitive and subject to safety and quality tests. We should therefore treat this optimistic programme with caution.'
The opening date and information for road users will be provided as soon as possible.
This new section is addition to the Balmedie and Tipperty section, which opened in August 2018, the Parkhill and Blackdog, which in June 2018, and the Craibstone Roundabout and Dyce Drive section, which opened in September 2016.