NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Aberdeen bypass contract 'complete in summer'

Aberdeen bypass work Image copyright Sepa
Image caption The Aberdeen bypass is a massive project

The completion of the Aberdeen bypass contract will not be until the summer, according to one of the contractors working on the project.

Balfour Beatty's statement came in the wake of repeated attempts to officially confirm when construction of the project would be completed.

The Scottish government said earlier this year it hoped the bypass would be finished by the spring.

It has now said it is still trying to get an agreed date.

Balfour Beatty said the contract was now expected to complete in the summer of 2018.

'Full update'

A government spokesman said: "The Scottish government continues to have discussions with Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL) in order to achieve an agreed date for the earliest possible completion of this project, despite the recent insolvency of Carillion.

"We expect these to conclude shortly and will provide a full update to parliament at that time."

The ongoing work is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Scotland with a price tag of £745m.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown had said in January he hoped the Aberdeen bypass would open in April or May, but was unable to give an exact date.

He made the comments while giving evidence to Holyrood's rural economy and connectivity committee on major transport projects.

He said the collapse of contractor Carillion would have an impact.

Covering costs

Bypass partners Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try are now covering the costs arising from Carillion's collapse.

Carillion went into liquidation in January, after talks between the company, its creditors and the UK government failed.

It is involved in several other infrastructure projects in Scotland, including the electrification of the central Scotland railway line and the extension of platforms at Edinburgh's Waverley Station.

The 28-mile Aberdeen bypass was given the green light by Scottish ministers in 2009, but was delayed by legal action.

Preparatory work on the Aberdeen bypass began in August 2014, and construction work began in February 2015.

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