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Now they say Third Don Crossing won’t be completed until June… And that’s the worst case scenario

The diamond bridge
The diamond bridge

Aberdeen councillors have admitted the much-delayed Third Don Crossing project will be completed by June 17 as a “worst case” scenario.

There have been numerous glitches in creating the £22.3million link between Bridge of Don and Tillydrone and a contract extension has been signed with builders Balfour Beattie.

The bridge is also significantly over budget by around £3million.

But, at yesterday’s finance, policy and resources committee meeting, members demanded an update from officers who informed them the bridge should be open to traffic by Friday, June 17 as the “worst case”.

They had previously advised it would be completed by “the end of May”.

The committee heard there had been a multitude of problems discovered during the building period with the latest being faults with nearby water outlets.

Once these are fixed, the bearing work will need to be amended, the waterproof coating on the structure will require to be “redone” and decking put into place.

Head of asset management and operations Hugh Murdoch summarised by saying the bridge still required “several weeks” worth of work.

The news was met with an angry reaction from councillors from all parties.

Vice convener Ross Thomson lodged a motion, supported by convener Willie Young, to bring a tell-all report of the entire process to the September meeting of the audit, scrutiny and risk committee.

The Conservative councillor for Queens Cross, Hazlehead and Ashley said he was “livid” when he found out the bridge had been delayed once again.

He said: “I find this news extremely disappointing. People are pulling their hair out with these delays and, once finished, we must push for a full report.”

SNP group leader Stephen Flynn said that more than 20% of council-backed building projects in the city were now behind schedule.

He added: “At a national level, the Scottish Government is developing infrastructure projects on time.

“If they can do this on a national level, why can’t we do it on a council level? ”

But Labour leader Jenny Laing hit back saying that delays to projects like the art gallery had been caused by the discovery of a mass of medieval skeletons “that nobody could have predicted”.

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