The Scottish transport sectary has cautioned Aberdeen Bypass contractors for “using the north-east’s enthusiasm for the road” to “cut corners” as final work is carried out on the last remaining piece of more than £745 million project.
Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL) are nearing the end of work on the Don Crossing, the last part of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR).
More than 85% of the AWPR has already opened to the public, providing faster journeys from Stonehaven to the airport.
But tonight the Scottish Government’s cabinet secretary for transport Michael Matheson has told the contractors that the road must absolutely not be opened until final safety and structural examinations are concluded.
Mr Matheson said: “I am pleased to confirm the AWPR contractor has undertaken the remaining physical works on the Don crossing, with some survey works and safety checks being undertaken over the next week.
“In particular, I would like to thank the workforce for their efforts, especially at this time of year in often challenging conditions.
“However, we continue to await ARL management providing the necessary technical assurances required to allow the road to open.
“Taxpayers have the right to expect high standards of quality when they pay for new infrastructure from reputable international construction firms and also, to not be penalised for mistakes of these contractor’s own making.
“Since it reported that more extensive remedial work was necessary on the Don Crossing in late October last year, ARL has been well aware that the technical assurances regarding the longer-term impact of these complex repairs to the bridge defects were required.
“Transport Scotland continues to work constructively with ARL, but I have been very clear and consistent that under no circumstances will the final section open until our technical experts are satisfied the public purse is protected.
“This is not the first time we have been forced to caution ARL against using the north-east’s enthusiasm for the road to apply pressure and cut corners on important contractual issues that cannot be avoided.