A £30 million project to improve a notorious Aberdeen roundabout has been delayed until 2021 after one of two bidders pulled out.
The long-awaited works to the often gridlocked Haudagain roundabout got under way in July with 127 properties being torn down in the area.
But the Scottish Government-backed scheme, which was due to be completed in 2020, will now not open until 2021.
The delay was revealed in a progress update by the Scottish Government on major capital projects, which said the new target date would still be subject to unforeseen circumstances such as “exceptionally adverse weather”.
The update report said: “This is later than 2020 as previously reported. This is due to one of the two bidders withdrawing from the competition and therefore the competition has been closed and procurement is progressing under a new procedure, ‘negotiation without prior publication’.
“Due to the revised procurement, it is estimated that this will add eight weeks to the procurement process.”
Transport chiefs previously said the demolition work is expected to be completed by the end of the year, with the main construction of the project to get under way once the AWPR is open to traffic.
The scheme will see a new link road built to take pressure off the roundabout, allowing drivers to travel from North Anderson Drive directly to Auchmill Road.
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Aberdeen City Council’s transport spokesman Ross Grant said: “This marks the total failure of the Scottish Government to deliver on their promises.
“We have seen delay after delay on the AWPR and now we are seeing further delay on the vital Haudagain roundabout upgrade, which will now not finish till 2021.
“Citizens will remember that in 2008 the SNP via Kevin Stewart MSP took an urgent decision to move forward with the Haudagain roundabout improvement, however, it now looks like it will be 13 years after the original urgent motion.”
Jackie Dunbar, SNP councillor for the ward: “There are still a few families in the area so, while it is disappointing that there appears to be an eight-week delay, this will hopefully allow the council additional time to help relocate them to new homes.”
Responding to the delayed projects contained within the progress update, Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said: “It’s understandable that there will always be the odd delay to major projects, which can occur for a range of issues.
“But under the SNP this appears to have become the norm.”
He added: “As ever with the SNP, warm words are not backed up by action, and the result of that is a decade of delays on key infrastructure projects.”
Spokesman for Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said of the Tory party: “They didn’t mention the projects which were completed well ahead of schedule under this government, such as the M74 extension, nor did they acknowledge their own failure to deliver on many of these projects during their decades in power – most notably with the AWPR, which was first mooted in the 1940s but is only now becoming a reality under the SNP.”