Contractors behind the Aberdeen bypass still have “work to do” to provide assurances over future maintenance of the crossing over the Don.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney, who was standing in for Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister’s Questions yesterday, said once that commitment is made by Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL), there will be “no further barrier” to opening the full route.
He added: “Aberdeen Roads Ltd is paid only when sections of the road are open to traffic.
“In that way, it is incentivised to open the road at the earliest opportunity on which it is safe to do so.
“Aberdeen Roads still has work to do to provide fundamental assurances about future maintenance of the River Don crossing that will sufficiently protect the public purse.
“Once that commitment is received, there will be no further barrier to opening the remainder of the road without delay.”
ARL said last month the River Don crossing – the last part of the AWPR – would be completed by the end of January.
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But Transport Scotland confirmed last week that contractors were “still not in a position” to open this final section of the carriageway, despite all construction work on the route being complete.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said he had a “productive meeting” with representatives of ARL on Wednesday afternoon.
Following the discussion, he said: “I’m pleased ARL acknowledges there are still issues to be resolved in providing the fundamental assurances around future maintenance of the River Don Crossing which sufficiently protect the public purse.
“I am mindful of the enthusiasm the people of the north-east have for the AWPR and share their eagerness to see it fully open.”
Mr Matheson has asked contractors to report back to him on their progress early next week.