Community leaders have welcomed the news that a major section of the Aberdeen bypass is due to open tomorrow – following months of delays.
Drivers will finally be able to use the 19.5-mile stretch between Stonehaven and Craibstone.
The section includes the new bridge over the River Dee, as well as connections with Milltimber, Kingswells and Westhill, and continues up to the new junction near Dyce.
It is hoped the full AWPR – including the new crossing over the River Don – will be open before Christmas.
Councillor Steve Delaney, who represents the Kingswells, Sheddocksley and Summerhill ward, said: “I am absolutely delighted that this is finally happening.
“It has been a long time coming and clearly there have been mistakes and difficulties along the way.
“It’s going to make a big difference, not just to those in the constituency, but also to everyone in the city.”
Councillor M. Taqueer Malik, who represents Lower Deeside, said: “I am delighted we are opening this stretch of road but it’s very sad we should have this opening two months after the completion.
“Lower Deeside has suffered for four-and-a-half years because of this project.
“I would love to see this stretch of road open and it is a good achievement for the north-east, but I don’t think it was professionally handled.”
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The new section of road, which will make more than 85% of the project open to traffic, will immediately make a tremendous difference to road users across the north-east.
“It will provide thousands of drivers every day with a range of benefits, including improved journey time reliability, better local access and reduced congestion, while safety will also be enhanced.
“It will also improve air quality and reduce traffic in Aberdeen City, making pedestrian and cycle travel easier, safer and a more enjoyable experience.”
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The opening of the largest stretch of road to date came after an agreement was reached between the contractor, their lenders and Transport Scotland which allowed a variation to the contract.
To help with the opening, Police Scotland will be phasing the opening of the new junctions. The Craibstone junction will open first early on Wednesday morning, followed by Stonehaven, Charleston, Deeside, Kingswells South and Kingswells North.
The Cleanhill junction, which links the bypass and the new road to Charleston, will open as part of this process.
At Kingswells North, only the A90 southbound slip road will be opened for safety reasons. This will limit traffic heading northbound on the AWPR until the road is complete.
New permanent traffic signals at Stonehaven, Charleston, Deeside, Kingswells and Craibstone will be switched on overnight Tuesday ahead of the new section opening.