Pre-start works agreement for AWPR
The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie-Tipperty project is well on the road to completion today after Transport Minister Keith Brown announced that preferred bidder, Connect Roads, will start preparatory works this week.
The pre-start works agreement, worth around £8 million, enables the preferred bidder to undertake further designs and to begin works including fencing, environment surveys and ground investigations ahead of the main works contract.
The pre-start works agreement was announced by Mr Brown at a site in Milltimber where a number of advance works for the project have already taken place.
He said: "The people of Aberdeen and the North-east have been waiting for decades for a sign that works are due to start on the AWPR/Balmedie-Tipperty scheme. Today, we can announce that the preferred bidder will be on site from this week actively preparing for the main works. This is an important indication that we will look for every opportunity to accelerate the work where we can.
"This pre-start works agreement further reinforces our commitment to the project and will complement the advance works already undertaken. This will ensure that the preferred bidder will be in an advanced position after contract award, which is expected later this year."
Over the next three decades, the investment in this project is expected to bring in an additional £6 billion to the local economy and create around 14,000 new jobs. During construction, benefits similar in scale to the M74 scheme are expected, which directly supported 900 construction jobs at its peak. The AWPR/Balmedie-Tipperty project will also provide on-the-job training for apprentices and local employment opportunities.
The Minister added: "We are also committed to making improvements at the Haudagain Roundabout once work on the AWPR scheme is finished, a new Inveramsay Bridge on the A96, and we have already made a longer term commitment to dual the key route between Aberdeen and Inverness. This will provide much needed support for local businesses and the economy across the region, as well as deliver tangible improvements for the thousands of drivers who use the road network across the north and north east of Scotland."
Alan Gibson, Bid Director at Connect Roads, added: "The construction of the AWPR/B-T will be a complex process, but the pre-start works agreement will ensure that we get the best possible start to the main construction works later this year. This will build on the advance works programme which has made significant progress over a vast area in very little time.
"We are working closely with Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils to reach financial close on the main DBFO contract, which will enable full works to commence on this strategically important project for the north east."
Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing said: "Today marks a very important milestone for Aberdeen and the North-east. This is a day that people have been waiting many years for and I think they will be delighted to see the real work beginning on the ground.
"The Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route has been spoken about for decades and I think it's fair to say some folk thought it would never happen. The pre-start works will put those doubts to rest once and for all.
"Aberdeen City Council has committed up to £75m to this project and as the managing agent for the works our officers will be working to ensure everything is in place to deliver this much-needed road for the people of the North-east."
Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Councillor Jim Gifford, said: "This is an important year for this vital transportation project for the North-east. People can now see the first stages of preparation taking place as we get ever-closer to the start of the construction of the main route.
"I look forward to seeing the route becoming a reality."
When the AWPR / Balmedie-Tipperty project is finished the substantial benefits will be felt across the North-east of Scotland. It will provide a boost to the economy, increase business and tourism opportunities, improve safety, and cut congestion. The AWPR / B-T will also offer opportunities to improve in public transport facilities.