NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Aberdeen bypass contractors asked to give evidence to MSPs

Aberdeen bypass work
Image caption The bypass is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Scotland

The contractors involved in the delayed Aberdeen bypass project have been invited to give evidence to MSPs.

The £745m 28-mile (45km) bypass was approved by Scottish ministers in 2009.

However there have been delays with the construction of the bridge over the River Don, leading to recent heated political debate.

The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee has written to Aberdeen Roads Ltd asking the contractors to give evidence.

Meanwhile. transport secretary Michael Matheson has said he held a "constructive" meeting with ARL.

Mr Matheson said: "The meeting was positive and both parties have agreed to work constructively together to progress the contract variation necessary to open the next section of this project between Craibstone and Stonehaven and Charleston.

"I have scheduled a further discussion with the contractors early next week to ensure that we continue to make the necessary progress.

"For my part, I have committed to explore every opportunity to make this happen."

A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: "The Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee has extended an invitation to Galliford Try and Balfour Beatty, the principal contractors who make up the Aberdeen Roads Ltd (ARL) consortium, to attend a committee meeting to give evidence on the AWPR (Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route) project.

"The committee looks forward to receiving their responses."

'Increased complexity'

The proposed date for giving evidence is 5 December.

Galliford Try said on Wednesday that the project would be completed in December, following "increased complexity" and weather delays in carrying out bridge repairs.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said last week there was still no definitive date for the opening.

It was due to open in the spring but was put back to autumn.

Mr Matheson is urging the construction firms to open the remainder of the road between Craibstone and Stonehaven as soon as possible, and believes it could be done if a contract variation was agreed.

The first main bypass part - between Parkhill and Blackdog - opened in June.

And the Balmedie to Tipperty section of the bypass fully opened to traffic in August.

The ongoing work is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Scotland.

Preparatory work on the Aberdeen bypass began in August 2014, and construction work began in February 2015.

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