Defects found on part of a major transport project will not affect completion of the Aberdeen bypass, according to transport bosses.
Transport Scotland confirmed remedial works are being carried out on the new River Don Bridge, near Dyce, which is part of the AWPR, after “minor defects” were found.
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald has written to the Scottish Government calling for answers on whether the bypass completion date will be pushed back.
But transport bosses claim the project “remains on schedule” for late autumn 2018, adding that contractor Balfour Beatty would pay for the additional costs.
Mr Macdonald said: “This latest development will only reinforce concerns that the AWPR could be subject to further delay and it’s vital that the Scottish Government provide clarity on this matter.
“The Scottish Government also need to be clear on the extent to which this will impact on the overall cost of the project and any implications for safety.
“The bridges over the River Dee and River Don are clearly critical parts of the infrastructure of the AWPR and it is vital that the Scottish Government publishes its own assessment of the issues affecting the Don Crossing and their impact on the project as a whole.”
It is understood the added costs could amount to millions – which would be met by the contractor – but Transport Scotland declined to give a figure for the works.
A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “The AWPR contract sets out a clear standard for the works on AWPR and the contractor is required to complete any necessary work to deliver this at no additional costs to the public purse.
“Some concrete panels are being replaced after minor defects were identified as part of the rigorous quality control processes which are utilised across the project.
“It is not unusual for minor defects to appear during the construction of major infrastructure projects.
“The contractor will undertake the necessary remedial works, at no extra cost to the taxpayer.
“There will be no safety implications for users of the AWPR, and the AWPR/B-T project remains on schedule to open to traffic by late autumn 2018.
“The previous Cabinet Secretary reported the latest position with the AWPR/B-T project to parliament in March 2018 and Balfour Beatty’s interim results remain consistent with this.”
Two main sections of the £745 million project – from Balmedie to Tipperty and Blackdog to Dyce – have already opened to traffic.
Transport bosses said the new 7.5-mile section would benefit tens of thousands of drivers through enhanced safety, reduced congestion, improved journey time reliability and safer access to local areas and the wider public network.
The project is still slated for an autumn completion, following a series of delays caused by bad weather and the collapse of Carillion, a contractor on the project.
The overall project is expected to bring in an additional £6 billion to the north-east economy and create around 14,000 jobs over the next 30 years.
Balfour Beatty declined to comment saying it was working in partnership with Transport Scotland.