The imminent opening of a six-mile stretch of the Aberdeen bypass has been greeted with joy and relief.
A new temporary road order has been published which will allow for the Balmedie to Tipperty section of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) to open in the coming weeks.
The order allows contractor Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL) to apply for a reduced speed on slip roads at nearby junctions and allow for final preparation works.
Six miles of dual carriageway will be opened between Balmedie and Bridgend, as well as improvements made to the existing route between Balmedie and Blackdog.
Douglas Laird, Transport Scotland project manager, said: “We said we would work with ARL to open new sections of road to bring the benefits of the project to people as soon as possible and practicable.
“The publication of the road order is a significant step towards opening the upgraded section of A90 between Balmedie and Tipperty.
“While we will only know the exact date when final works and safety inspections are fully complete, this milestone allows the contractor to start the necessary finishing works and certainly signals we’re in the home stretch.
“We expect to announce more details in due course.
“As always, we thank local communities, road users and businesses from across the north-east for their patience during these works.”
The opening has been welcomed by local politicians.
Richard Thomson, who represents Ellon and District at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “This is very good news and a real step forward for the project. Having the remaining restrictions lifted will be a great benefit to everyone and heralds another major milestone in the overall delivery of the AWPR.”
Fellow ward councillor Isobel Davidson said: “I’m delighted this section of the AWPR is near completion. While this is a much-needed project, the disruption has gone on for much longer than originally proposed so we will all be relieved when the road finally opens.”