The construction army that will build Aberdeen’s Western Peripheral Route is on the move.
The Connect Roads consortium, now called Aberdeen Roads Ltd, has started mobilising the 1,000-strong workforce and plant fleets that will begin shaping the route of the AWPR / B-T project. Activity will be seen across the north east as earthworks begin and preparations are made for the first sections of tarmac to be laid.
Welcoming the increase in activity infrastructure minister Keith Brown described the project as “a mammoth undertaking” and the single largest contract of its type in the UK. It includes 12 new junctions, nearly 14 miles of slip roads and accesses, two river crossings at the River Dee and River Don, a bridge for crossing the Aberdeen to Inverness Railway, four pipeline crossings and three wildlife bridges, as well as 150 other structures.
Brown went on: “2014 has proven to be a pivotal year. The first part of the year saw the bidding process to find a contractor commence and by the summer we were in a position to select a preferred bidder. We were then able to open detailed discussions about specific elements of the scheme which could be delivered early and secure some quick wins.
“One of first achievements was to secure a planned completion date of winter 2017, brought forward from spring 2018. But we went further, ensuring specific parts of the project – the airport sections at Craibstone and Dyce junctions – could be delivered early, releasing those benefits some 20 months ahead of the original timetable. Calls to prioritise the Balmedie to Tipperty section were also answered with the anticipated delivery of that part of the project brought forward to spring 2017, a full year ahead of the original schedule.”
In August an £8m pre-works agreement allowed advance works such as tree clearing and utilities diversions to be carried out.
The agreement with Connect Roads was formalised last month when it was announced that costs had been reduced by around £220m over the lifetime of the 30-year deal. Contract costs were also reduced by around £11m.
“Transport in the north east will soon never be the same again,” promised the infrastructure minister.
Article posted 13/1/2015