Deal finalised for Aberdeen’s £550m bypass project

Keith Brown ' some sections of city bypass will open early. Picture: Greg Macvean

Keith Brown ' some sections of city bypass will open early. Picture: Greg Macvean

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CONSTRUCTION groups Balfour Beatty, Carillion and Galliford Try have cleared the final hurdle to press ahead with the controversial Aberdeen bypass.

The trio – working together as Aberdeen Roads Ltd – have reached financial close on the £550 million Aberdeen western peripheral route (AWPR) scheme, which is set for completion in winter 2017.

Galliford Try executive chairman Greg Fitzgerald said the “hugely significant” infrastructure project would deliver an improved transport network for the Aberdeen area.

He added: “Galliford Try has a strong presence in Scotland through Morrison Construction, who are also currently constructing the Queensferry Crossing – which is the largest infrastructure project in Scotland for a generation – as part of the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors.”

While the overall estimated costs of the AWPR remain at £745m, the contract value of £550m is almost £220m less than the pre-tender estimate, according to Keith Brown, the cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities.

Although work on the route had been held up by a legal challenge, Brown said yesterday that some sections of road – described as the area’s biggest-ever civil engineering project – will be completed early. The Craibstone and Dyce junctions at the airport will now open by autumn 2016, while the Balmedie-Tipperty section is expected to be finished by spring 2017.

Brown said: “I’m sure this news will be widely welcomed by local communities, road users and businesses in the North-east and from across Scotland, as this will allow early benefits from the project to be realised in these areas. The Aberdeen bypass is now well and truly on its way.”

The AWPR includes designing and constructing about 36 miles of new dual carriageway, building 25 miles of new side roads, almost 19 miles of access tracks and more than 100 new structures, including two bridges over the rivers Dee and Don.

Steve Marshall, executive chairman of Balfour Beatty, said: “This project demonstrates the value of combining our investment, construction and maintenance capabilities to deliver value. We look forward to working with Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council to deliver this long-awaited scheme.”

Once construction is completed in winter 2017, the trunk road assets will be managed and maintained by Aberdeen Roads :td for 30 years.

Funding for the scheme is coming from the European Investment Bank, a bank-term loan and a group of investors managed by Allianz Global Investors, following what Brown described as a “significant” level of international investor interest. Aberdeen City Council has committed up to £75m to the AWPR.

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