The cost of the Aberdeen bypass project has rocketed by £20 million due to delays.
Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson last week criticised Galliford Try, accusing the firm of saying progress had been made resolving a sticking point on the £750 million AWPR project before it backtracked 40 hours later.
Now, the firm has told its shareholders it has written off an extra £20m due to delays on the scheme, which is designed to improve traffic flow around Aberdeen and the north-east.
It has also confirmed the scheme will finally be finished in December – later than the previous “late autumn” deadline, which was the third deadline contractors have missed.
The Galliford Try trading statement said: “On AWPR, the completion date for the final section, including the bridge over the River Don, is now expected to be in December owing to increased complexity and weather delays in implementing repairs to the (Don Crossing) bridge.
“As a result of higher than anticipated direct costs, and the further delay to completion, our estimate of the final costs to complete the contract has increased by approximately £20m.”
It is understood the contractors will foot the bill for the bridge repairs – not the taxpayer.
Mr Matheson said he was encouraged by the trading statement.
He added: “This confirms the Don Crossing is expected to be completed in December, which is in line with what the (Galliford Try) chief executive Peter Truscott told me last week, before subsequently sending a letter that cast doubt on this.
“Given this (latest) statement is bound by stock-market rules, I trust this represents a true reflection of their confidence levels”.
Aberdeen Roads Ltd, the consortium spearheading the AWPR scheme, of which Galliford Try is part, has agreed to meet the Scottish Government.
Mr Matheson added: “I’m pleased ARL has accepted my call for an urgent meeting and I look forward to discussing a hopefully swift resolution to the technical issues at the Don Crossing.
“Even more pressing, however, will be meaningful movement towards opening the remainder of the road as soon as possible.
“I can certainly see no impediment to this happening if ARL agrees to the necessary contract variation on the table.
“I am determined we continue to work constructively with ARL.
“However, I will also be reminding it that it stands at the beginning of a 30-year relationship with the north-east and it would be highly regrettable if substantial economic and social benefits are effectively being withheld in service of misguided commercial tactics.”