AWPR on track in spite of bridge

The AWPR bridge at Dyce which spans the River Don.
The AWPR bridge at Dyce which spans the River Don.

Transport chiefs have rejected claims the AWPR is facing fresh delays after it emerged millions of pounds of work will need to be carried out to repair the structure of a new bridge.

Last month it emerged that “minor defects” had been identified in the new River Don crossing in Dyce.

As first reported in trade weekly Construction News, contractors Balfour Beatty have since confirmed the repairs will cost millions, albeit the chief executive described the bill as in the low single-digits.

Transport Scotland has insisted the repairs will not disrupt the structure from opening on time but concerns have been expressed the bypass will be delayed again.

North-east MSP Lewis Macdonald, has now written to Transport Minister Michael Matheson calling for clarity on any potential delays.

His letter states: “Given that Balfour Beatty, as one of the two main partners for the AWPR has confirmed that it is now addressing the issues in relation to the bridge’s design, I would be grateful if you could outline what the Scottish Government’s assessment is of the situation.

“In particular, what assessment have you made of the impact that this remedial work on a key component of the AWPR infrastructure will have on the timetable for the completion on the project as a whole? What do you believe the impact is on the overall cost of the AWPR? Are there any implications for safety?”

Mr Macdonald added: “This latest development will only reinforce concerns that the AWPR could be subject to further delay and it’s vital that the Scottish Government provide clarity on this matter.

“The Scottish Government also need to be clear on the extent to which this will impact on the overall cost of the project, and any implications for safety.”

Transport Scotland said there would be no extra cost to the taxpayer for the remedial work, which was common in the construction of major infrastructure.

A spokesman said: “Some concrete panels are being replaced after minor defects were identified as part of the rigorous quality control processes which are utilised across the project.

“It is not unusual for minor defects to appear during the construction of major infrastructure projects.

“The contractor will undertake the necessary remedial works, at no extra cost to the taxpayer. There will be no safety implications for users of the AWPR and the AWPR/B-T project remains on schedule to open to traffic by late autumn.”