Thousands of motorists will face “chaos” on one of the city’s busiest routes this weekend as preparation work for the Aberdeen bypass gets underway.
North Deeside Road at Milltimber will be closed from Saturday afternoon until Monday morning to give Scottish Water uninterrupted access to the site.
The same closure will also be enforced the following weekend.
Transport Scotland insisted the action was in the “interests of public safety” as work begins across the region on the long-awaited Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR).
However, local residents and politicians said the upheaval would put “immense pressure” on the already busy road and they fear the closure could cause gridlock and increase the risk of accidents.
They said that although the stretch of road affected is relatively short, there would be a knock-on impact as people try to use alternative routes.
They added that this weekend would be the biggest test – as people travel from across the area to attend the Culter Gala.
Local councillor Tauqeer Malik said: “There will be a lot of trouble for many people – thousands of drivers will face chaos.
“But what can we do? The work needs to be done.”
North Deeside Road will be closed between its junctions with Milltimber Brae and Contlaw Road from noon on Saturday until 6am on Monday.
Work will re-commence at noon on June 6 until 6am on June 8.
Motorists will be diverted to the B979 Milltimber Brae, South Deeside Road, Leggart Terrace, the A90 Stonehaven Road, the A90 South Anderson Drive, Great Western Road, St John’s Terrace, and North Deeside Road.
Scheduled buses will be allowed access, but will be subject to a 10mph speed limit.
Meanwhile, Culter House Road will be one-way heading west and northbound on both weekends.
Contlaw Road will also be one-way heading east and southbound between its junctions with Culter House Road and Colthill Road.
Milltimber residents will be allowed access to their properties throughout.
However, some fear it could cause gridlock on either side of the suburb.
One said: “We were warned in advance that this was happening, but it’s still a worry.
“This road is busy enough as it is, and this will add immense pressure.
“When traffic gets pushed on to alternative routes, it’s an accident waiting to happen.”
AWPR preparation work began at North Deeside Road on May 1.
It will be closed to give Scottish Water space to dig “trial holes” to determine the route of a diverted water main.
Aberdeen City Council’s deputy leader, Councillor Marie Boulton, said there was no doubt drivers would be “inconvenienced”.
She urged people to take extra care over the coming weekends on the diverted routes.
“Most people are accepting what has to be done,” she said.
A spokesman for Transport Scotland said everything possible was being done to minimise disruption.
He said that over the coming months, the new bypass would become “increasingly visible”.
It should be complete by winter 2017, six months ahead of schedule.
The spokesman added: “A range of traffic management measures will be in place at different times.
“We will make every effort to minimise disruption where possible, however road users should expect some disruption to the traffic flow during the construction period.”