The Aberdeen bypass contractors have said work on the River Don Crossing should be finished by Christmas subject to the weather and safety checks.
A document submitted to the Scottish Parliament by Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try has said completion of the crossing would allow for the “opening of the full project”.
The paper was lodged with Holyrood ahead of a committee meeting today where contractors will be grilled by MSPs amid mounting concern over the delays and costs to the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR).
MSPs are expected to tackle the contractors on the opening date for the £745million road as well as demand answers on how much money has been spent on the project.
The document warns that the contractors will suffer “huge” losses even if they are successful in their compensation claim with Transport Scotland.
Last month there was anger when Transport Secretary Michael Matheson announced that the AWPR completion date had been pushed back from “late autumn” to December.
The document states: “The remedial works (on the Don Crossing) are currently forecast to be complete just before Christmas, which would allow opening of the full project – albeit that is a challenging programme as the works are highly susceptible to adverse weather, and are subject to stringent safety tests.”
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The contractors also noted that the project was forecast to complete “approximately” 13 months late – a reference to an earlier ambition for the road to be open by last winter.
The contractors are discussing compensation claims for cash outwith the £745million fixed-cost spent on the project with Transport Scotland.
“Even after resolution of the claim, the joint venture partners’ losses will be huge,” the document adds.
North East Tory MSP Peter Chapman said: “Motorists across the north-east would be delighted if this road was open by Christmas – but I don’t think anyone is holding their breath.
“We need to know exactly how big these reported losses are. People also deserve to be told when they can finally drive on the road – as the Transport Secretary seems unwilling or unable to name a date.”
North East Labour MSP Lewis MacDonald added: “This is merely the contractors’ Christmas wish, but it is not a promise. We are all hoping for a finish in the New Year, but only time will tell whether that can be achieved. “