This exclusive drone video shows how work is progressing to dual one of the north-east’s busiest roads.
The A90 Aberdeen-Fraserburgh route is being upgraded between Balmedie and Tipperty, as part of the £745million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route project.
Initial work is already underway, and these new images – taken by a drone commissioned by the Press and Journal – show how the road is taking shape at Foveran, and outline the route it will take across farmland
Currently, early morning commuters face lengthy queues as they approach Aberdeen after the dual-carriageway ends at Tipperty, with traffic then crawling the six miles to Balmedie.
The Scottish Government announced late last year that the dualling project would be complete by spring 2017, as part of a drive to finish the AWPR six months ahead of schedule.
Ellon and District councillor Richard Thomson said the images made the future route seem more “believable” after years of planning and consultations.
He said: “I think it is great it is taking shape, people have known for a long time that this road was on the way and now people can actually see the work being carried out.
“It just makes it more real and believable and we can see the progress being made on it.
“When it is built it is going to open up so much of the north of Aberdeenshire for business and make the commute a great deal easier for people getting into the city.
“Folk have been waiting for this road for a long time.”
David Watson, chairman of the Belhelvie Community Council, said the new dual carriageway would also help businesses in Aberdeenshire and better link-up housing developments across the region with the city.
He said: “It has been welcomed by the us and from everyone in the area.
“It has been long-awaited and well received and it should hopefully provide more linkage with housing and for businesses in the area, especially being in the Energetica Corridor.
“The greatest help will be the bypass traffic from Peterhead and traffic going past Aberdeen and up, and for people who live north of Aberdeen going to Altens for work. It takes people a long time just now.”
Ellon councillor Gillian Owen welcomed the progress as well but repeated her calls for the full length of the A90 to be upgraded all the way to Fraserburgh.
She said: “When the work gets going it is going to create traffic management problems but ultimately what we are getting is fantastic. It will be worth it.
“It is just a shame they don’t go all the way to Peterhead and on to Fraserburgh.
“We go to Aberdeen every day and you can see all the goal posts at various places. You can just see it starting.”
The AWPR has been in the works for more than a decade, although the idea to build a bypass was first proposed in 1948.
Transport Scotland initially set a target opening date of 2012, but due to various legal challenges from objectors the project was delayed.
The scheme will link the Aberdeen-Dundee stretch of the A90 at Stonehaven and Charleston with the Aberdeen-Ellon section of the trunk road at Blackdog, north of the city.
The government originally forecast that the project would be competed by 2018, but late last year ministers announced the road would be open in winter 2017.
Earthworks have also started in Stonehaven – the route’s most southerly section, where it will deviate from the A90.
About 43,000 vehicles are predicted to use the road every day once it is built.
Transport Scotland has produced visualisations of what the dualled section of the road between Balmedie and Tipperty will look like.
A spokesman said: “The many benefits the project will deliver – £6billion of investment and 14,000 jobs for the north east over the next 30 years – will soon be realised.
“The project is the single largest contract of its type currently on the ground anywhere in the UK at present, with around 58km (36-miles) of new road, new junctions, new bridges and 150 other structures.
“The new bypass is due to finish by winter 2017, six months ahead of the original schedule of spring 2018.”
Connect Roads – a consortium made up of Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try and Carillion – was named preferred contractor for the long-awaited scheme last year.