Union Terrace, which links two of the busiest roads in Aberdeen city centre, has reopened to traffic travelling in both directions for the first time in more than 21 months.
The street was originally closed to vehicles travelling south on January 27 2020, to allow works access to the major revamp of the adjoining Union Terrace Gardens.
The original aim was to reopen the road in mid-November that year – but unsurprisingly, the coronavirus pandemic laid waste to that deadline.
Instead, cars can finally be driven in both lanes between Rosemount Viaduct and Union Street almost a year after that target date.
The reopening of the southbound lane signals another step forward in the £28.3 million development of Union Terrace Gardens.
Aberdeen City Council’s chief capital officer, John Wilson, revealed in September he believes the “bulk” of the building and civil engineering will be completed by the end of this year.
However, it could be several months into 2022 before the public are granted access to the space, as landscaping work was delayed by the pandemic and lockdown meant a seasonal window of opportunity for planting was missed.
New additions to the gardens will include three pavilions located along Union Terrace, a grand staircase leading down from the entrance opposite Aberdeen Central Library, a playpark and accessible routes into the area from street level.
An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “The Council’s multi-million-pound redevelopment of Union Terrace Gardens meant traffic on Union Terrace had to be restricted for health and safety during these extensive works. Union Terrace is now open in both directions to traffic.
“First Aberdeen have confirmed that the services three and 12 will return to their previous routes via Union Terrace now that both lanes of the carriageway are open. Stagecoach is aware that the road is now open but have not yet returned their previous services to Union Terrace.”