The start of the Easter weekend brought Aberdeen’s road network to a standstill with gridlock across the city.
And, last night, a senior city councillor said that delays had been expected as work progresses on the overdue Third Don Crossing.
St Machar Drive was closed from 7pm on Thursday and will reopen at 6am on Tuesday while new lights are installed to replace the existing roundabout at Bedford Road.
The £22.3million project has already suffered significant delays and it has just been revealed that a two-month contract extension has been signed off by the council to the contractors Balfour Beattie.
Leave for workmen has reportedly been cancelled as they work throughout the Easter weekend to try and complete the works.
The congestion was compounded when a car caught fire in the middle of the day, adding to the travelling public’s woes.
Firefighters were called to the blaze on Crown Street at around 1.20pm with the driver escaping unhurt.
However, roads were so busy around the Union Square shopping centre that the police subsequently issued a warning to drivers.
One Woodside family’s trip to Blackdog beach led to a two-hour battle through the traffic.
Victoria Shedlock was en route to the beach with her three young children and dog when chaos struck.
The 36-year-old said: “It was a total nightmare. We saw it was a nice day and thought we would head out to the beach. What a mistake.
“It took us a while getting out, but it was at least an hour just going from the bridge to home.
“We tried all the different roads, but they were just nose to tail in Bridge of Don.”
Meanwhile Helen Ingram wrote: “How long (would it take) for a ‘blue-light’ ambulance or fire engine to get to these locations during the traffic standstill chaos on Skene Road?”
A commuter, who didn’t want to be named, added: “It took me an hour to get to my work about six miles from where I live.”
Aberdeen Central SNP candidate, and former council leader, Kevin Stewart said: “The council, from the very beginning, have mismanaged the Third Don Crossing project.
“This has led to complete chaos on the roads today and a bill than is £3million over budget.”
A council spokeswoman said: “Traffic pattern and volumes around the city change during any of the major public holidays, and peak times tend to vary from normal working days.