The man in charge of a multimillion-pound pedestrianisation project in Aberdeen has revealed the work could continue until next summer.
The council’s head of planning and sustainable development, Eric Owens, appointed to oversee the £3.2million scheme for Broad Street and Upperkirkgate, said that a temporary surface will be laid to allow for the Christmas Village attraction to be held there in November.
In March, Broad Street was closed to cars for the final time to create a new “shared space” for buses and bicycles with the council expecting the work to be finished in July.
This was subsequently pushed back to November and Mr Owens revealed yesterday the authority was now aiming for the full project to be completed by spring or “possibly summer”.
After angry complaints about the delays from shopkeepers on Upperkirkgate, Mr Owens said work there would now be “prioritised” with quicker drying material and he added the council now aimed to open that section to traffic in December or January.
The closure order for the scheme has been extended to January.
The traffic lights at Upperkirkgate and Gallowgate are to be removed and replaced with a shared surface for vehicles and a roundel – a mini-roundabout where pedestrians are given priority.
There will be a Toucan crossing at the Union Street end.
The design forms part of the 25-year City Centre Masterplan and is funded by the masterplan budget, Marischal Square developer Muse and cycling charity Sustrans.
Mr Owens confirmed that a number of technical problems had been unearthed while conducting the works, including an unexpected “soft spot” of ground and concrete found within drainage pipes at the former St Nicholas house.
He said: “I have instructed the workers to prioritise Upperkirkgate and that should be completed in December, possibly January.
“They have agreed to use an alternative hardener which is quicker drying.”
A council spokeswoman said: “A temporary surface is to be put down on Broad Street to accommodate the Christmas Village and work will resume on the project after the festive period with a phased opening of the works.”