PREPARATORY work finally began today on the construction of the controversial new bridge across the River Don in Aberdeen.
Workmen arrived at the site of the so called Third Don Crossing this morning to fell trees in the area to pave the way for construction work on the new bridge which will link the Bridge of Don and Tillydrone.
The Scottish Government has already given the go-ahead for a compulsory purchase order to buy the land needed to create the crossing, linking the Parkway to St Machar Drive to ease the gridlock facing thousands of motorists heading into the city on the A90 from the Ellon, Peterhead and Fraserburgh areas.
Twelve months ago the scheme was finally given the green light when the Labour, Conservative and Independents in the City Council’s ruling rainbow coalition swept aside their political differences over the site for a new bridge and and confirmed their commitment to the start of construction on the controversial crossing scheme.
The council has allocated £15.36million in capital funding for the Third Don Crossing, which should be open to the public by autumn 2015
Councillor Angela Taylor, vice-convener of the authority’s Enterprise, Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee, said: “Today is a momentous day and marks the start of a major push to improve Aberdeen’s road network right across the city.
“It is just one of several important schemes which this Administration will be driving forward over the next few years, which will deliver a major boost for the local economy and relief for long-suffering motorists.”
She added: “Aberdeen has for far too long suffered from congested roads and major delays for commuters, public transport and freight transport. The strategic improvements which we will deliver will be widely welcomed and will benefit the entire region along with the rest of Scotland.”
Councillor Ross Thomson, the Tory Group’s transport spokesman, said: “At long last we are finally seeing the start of work on this major new link after years of delays. Together with the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, the Haudagain junction upgrade and the planned Berryden Corridor improvements, the new bridge will lock in a whole range of transportation benefits and move us closer to having a transport network which is finally fit for purpose.”
He stressed: “The new Don Crossing is just one piece of the jigsaw and part of a comprehensive plan to ease the all-too-common gridlock which afflicts this city. I can promise the people of Aberdeen that this administration has the utmost determination to complete the job and ensure the city’s traffic keeps moving for the benefit of everyone.”
A council spokesman said: “The plans for the new crossing over the River Don include a new stretch of road to join the bridge to the existing road network from the Parkway north of the river, as well as the realignment and upgrading of roads to the south of the river. It includes the creation of a shared pedestrian and cycle path.”