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AWPR six months late

 

In the week that a search is launched for Scotland’s best engineering and construction projects, economy secretary Keith Brown has confirmed the country’s most expensive road scheme is six months behind schedule.

The £745m Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route was due to open in spring but following “urgent discussions” between Transport Scotland and the contractors the first vehicles are not expected on the road until autumn.

Talks were held after Balfour Beatty, one of the two remaining joint venture contractors, revealed in its annual report that it expected to complete the job in summer.

The opening has been put back to autumn.

Aberdeen Roads Ltd (ARL), the consortium now reduced to Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try in the wake of the collapse of third member Carillion, said a number of issues had delayed construction including Storm Frank in winter 2015/16, recent extreme weather during early March.

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.”

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.”

New statistics have revealed that 158 workers have been injured so far during construction of the bypass with 130 ‘near misses’.

 

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Article posted 24/3/2018

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