A major milestone has been reached in the construction of the new 270m-long River Dee Crossing bridge.
Construction began in summer 2015 and now, the decking meets in the middle creating a new link between Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
The impressive new timelapse footage shows the deck push which took place between June and November this year.
The crossing, which is part of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project, weighs 35,000 tonnes, and will carry two lanes of traffic in each direction over the River Dee.
Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “People from across the north-east can see for themselves the progress being made on this essential infrastructure project and none more so than at the River Dee Crossing, where the decking now reaches around 13m above the river. Works, including installation of parapets and laying of road surfacing, are continuing to complete this significant and strategic element of the new road which is scheduled to open to traffic in Winter 2017/18.
“The new crossing has been built using 31,400 tonnes of concrete sourced from the local area, 3,237 tonnes of steel and 400 tonnes (327km) of post tensioning strands, which help it to keep its shape and strength.”
The contractor has overcome a number of challenges to complete the crossing’s decking, including the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) which requires careful management of the construction methods used.
Mr Brown added: “The construction of a new bridge of this size and complexity is a significant undertaking but the works in this location have the added challenge that it is within a designated SAC. This has meant that additional measures have had to be put in place by the contractor to help ensure water quality is not impacted by works and that sensitive species remain unaffected.
“Indeed, the location of these piers – and the main span length – was decided not by the width of the river but by the width of the SAC, which extends beyond the immediate river bank.”
Other measures in place at the River Dee Crossing include directing lighting away from the river and using construction plant with the least noise and vibration impacts.
“We can look forward to the many benefits this project will bring when it opens to traffic,” Mr Brown added.
“It is expected to generate £6 billion and 14,000 jobs for the local economy over the next 30 years, as well as reduce congestion, improve journey time reliability and enhance safety. We all want these benefits to be realised as soon as possible and therefore bridges and side roads are being opened when it is safe to do so.”
Aberdeen City Council transport and regeneration spokesman Councillor Ross Grant said: “I’m delighted to see the completion of this structure, a significant milestone in the construction of the AWPR, which in turn will help to unlock benefits for Aberdeen and the wider area.
“The new River Dee Crossing sits on the boundary between the City and Shire providing not only a safe and speedy access for thousands of people every day but also a significant landmark in the area.”
Leader of Aberdeenshire Council councillor Jim Gifford said: “The construction of the bridge is in itself a major piece of work, and that highlights the scale of what we are looking to achieve in this partnership.
“This is quite a symbolic moment for the scheme as it marks a new connection between Aberdeen City and Shire. Is it also another visible sign that we are a step closer to completion of this ambitious, complex and much-needed project.”