NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Aberdeen bypass will not fully open before Christmas

Aberdeenbypass

The delayed Aberdeen bypass will not be fully open before Christmas, it has been announced.

The bypass - stretching 36 miles (58 km) - was approved by Scottish ministers in 2009.

However, the £745m project fell behind schedule, and is now expected to cost more than £1bn.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said the contractors were now forecasting January but were unable to provide a definitive date.

It had been hoped the final 4.5-mile (7.5km) section between Parkhill and Craibstone would open before Christmas.

Problems with the River Don bridge crossing have held up completion of the project.

'No surprise'

Mr Matheson said it was "disappointing" but "no surprise".

He added: "More than 85% of the AWPR (Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route) is now open to traffic and is delivering immediate benefits which the people of the north east are clearly enjoying."

Preparatory work began in August 2014, and construction began in February 2015.

The first main bypass section - between Parkhill and Blackdog - opened in June, and the Balmedie to Tipperty section of the bypass fully opened to traffic in August.

Consent was secured for a contract variation which paved the way for the opening of the completed 20-mile (32km) Craibstone to Stonehaven and Charleston section last week.

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