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Brakes finally come off bypass as it opens in full

The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Rout is expected to bring down costs for North Sea suppliers and operators
Aerial Photographs Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route / AWPR Pictured is the connection of the A93 with the Southern Leg of the AWPR at Peterculter and Milltimber. Pictured on 06/10/2018 Picture by Darrell Benns.

The final section of the AWPR will open tomorrow, marking the “beginning of an important new chapter for Aberdeen”.

The completion of the congestion-busting 36-mile bypass, which could come in at a cost of £1 billion, has taken months longer than expected, with work on the Don Crossing being struck by delays.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson yesterday confirmed the final stretch, between Craibstone and Parkhill, will finally open tomorrow morning.

Mr Matheson said: “Since the major part of the road last year, the overwhelmingly positive feedback has demonstrated the impact that infrastructure can bring about in people’s lives.”

More than 85% of the road, stretching from Stonehaven to Aberdeen Airport, opened in December.

However, final safety and structural work on the last 4.5 miles took longer than anticipated and contractor Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL) was unable to finish the project on time.

Last week, the firm was finally able to offer the “technical reassurances” needed in regard to the Don Crossing.

The last section will link the southern Craibstone to Stonehaven and the Charleston section with the Parkhill to Blackdog stretch in the north.

The Craibstone, Parkhill and Kingswells North, northbound junctions will be fully opened once signs have been uncovered, road markings completed and temporary traffic management measures removed.

Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council both ploughed £75 million into the project and co-leader of the city council, Jenny Laing, yesterday said it would contribute to the economic “transformation” of the area.

Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Jim Gifford, added: “There have certainly been challenges along the way but we must now focus on the benefits, including the opportunities the route presents to existing and new businesses.”

And Lewis Macdonald, Scottish Labour MSP for the North-East, said: “The last few months have perhaps been the most frustrating part of a very frustrating process.

“For now, though, the ability to access every section of the AWPR will be very welcome to commuters, travellers and commercial drivers across the north-east.”

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