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Aberdeen City's Access from the North Proposals (Third Don Crossing)

Proposed 3rd Don Crossing image








These pages describe the current progress of the scheme and background information concerning the scheme.

Construction Phase

The site office for the duration of the contract is located at 119 Grandholm Drive, Aberdeen, AB22 8AE. Access to Grandholm Drive is via Balgownie Road and Balgownie Drive, from both the Parkway and Ellon Road. A map (.pdf) is provided via the link below:

Aberdeen City Council and Balfour Beatty staff are based here and will be able to discuss the project implications during office hours. Enquires can be directed to the site staff by email or telephone 01224 820862.

Planned Works
Balfour Beatty produce a Planned Works weekly programme, detailing the works during the following week, this is issued by email every Friday, if you wish to receive this update please email

A copy of the Planned Works is available below:   

The construction traffic signs and road marking drawings are available below:

Please note that many of the files on this page are quite large and it may take some time for them to download and open.


Since the 1970's various schemes have been considered for a new crossing over the River Don. In 2003, Aberdeen City Council (ACC) decided to review these past proposals and identify other alternatives in respect to Access from the North. A Stage 2 feasibility study was carried out investigating 3 route corridors crossing the River Don. The purpose of the Stage 2 Assessment was to investigate and compare the 3 proposed route corridors to establish which option would be the most suitable to progress. The feasibility study involved an Engineering Assessment, Economic Assessment, Environmental Assessment, Traffic Modelling, and a two staged Public Consultation. In 2004 ACC instructed that Option 1 be progressed to the Stage 3 Assessment. The Stage 3 Assessment was similar to Stage 2 but investigated the preferred line in greater detail.

Stage 3 Assessment

Following ACC's decision to progress Option 1 as the preferred line the following work was undertaken:

Survey - A topographical survey was carried out to enable a more detailed design of the preferred line.

Ground Investigation - A ground investigation was carried out to establish the soil characteristics of the area, what types of construction may be required as well as the suitability of existing material for re-use within the scheme. The Ground Investigation determined that, in engineering terms, there were no significant issues with regards to the possible construction of the proposals and the existing ground conditions.

Design - The topographical survey was used to refine the Stage 2 design. This involved the following changes:

  • Minor alignment changes;
  • The inclusion of cycle facilities;
  • Additional lanes at the start and end of the scheme;
  • Access From The North ("Third Don Crossing") Plan; and
  • Proposed traffic signals at the St Machar Drive/Bedford Road junction

The design of the proposed bridge was chosen:

Traffic Modelling and Economic Assessment

More detailed traffic modelling was carried out for the scheme and the surrounding network. This information gave greater insight as to the affects of the proposals as well as indicating what measures would be required to enable traffic using both the proposals and the surrounding network to move efficiently eg proposed traffic signals at the St Machar Drive/Bedford Road junction.

In addition to this model the previous traffic model that was used for the Stage 2 assessment was refined and re-run. The results of this model was also used to measure the economic benefits of the scheme. The modelling suggests that through journey time savings and reductions in distances travelled the proposals give a large economic return.

Environmental Assessment

A Stage 3 Environmental Assessment and Environmental Statement were commissioned to identify the impacts on both the natural and built environments. They followed on from the findings of the Stage 2 assessment, looking into the impacts of the proposals in more detail.

Key issues investigated by the Environmental Assessment are Policy, Air Quality, Archaeology and Heritage, Ecology and Nature Conservation, Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, Land Use, Noise, Pedestrians, Cyclists, Equestrians and Community Effects, Vehicle Travellers and Water Quality, Drainage and Flood Defence. The Environmental Assessment generally found that, relative to the size of the scheme, there were no major environmental impacts and although there are a number of relatively minor issues many of those can have their impact reduced or removed by suitable mitigation measures. The mitigation measures are detailed within the Environmental Statement.

The Environmental Assessment and Environmental Statement was updated to take account changes within the Structure Plan as well as changes to the design itself, such as the introduction of the segregated cycling facility. The updated Environmental Assessment and Environmental Statement can be seen here: 

STAG Assessment

The Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) Assessment was used to identify objectives for the proposals to meet, problems that the proposals should solve or reduce and problems that the proposals may create. The main themes of investigation are the Environment, Safety, Economy, Integration, Accessibility and Social Inclusion. The STAG methodology was used to investigate the previous options as part of a Part 1 STAG assessment and led to the selection of Option 1 as the preferred option. A Part 2 STAG assessment was also carried out on the preferred line (Option 1). This investigated the preferred option in more detail than the Part 1 STAG assessment. The STAG report contains an account of the decision making process from the choosing of the preferred line to the decision to progress the preferred line to the planning application process.

A Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) was promoted in to acquire the land necessary to build the scheme. As there were objections raised over the use of the CPO, Scottish Ministers called for a Public Local Inquiry (PLI) to be held. An Independent Reporter was appointed by Scottish Ministers to carry out the PLI. The documents published by ACC for consideration at the inquiry are available at the following link:.

The Reporter passed his findings and recommendations to Scottish Ministers, in his report he recommended that the CPO be confirmed. Scottish Ministers considered his report and recommendations and confirmed the CPO.

Confirmed copies of the CPO were issued to all owners and occupiers of affected property; it was also advertised in local press and on street notices. Following publication, objectors had a period in which to appeal the Scottish Ministers' decision.

The Council made a General Vesting Declaration (GVD) to acquire the land subject to the CPO. Owners and occupiers of the properties were written to, in order to advise them of the GVD and ask them to contact the Council’s Legal and Estates departments, the GVD was advertised in the local press and street notices were erected along the length of the scheme. Three objections were received, two of which were withdrawn at a later date, the final one was subject to a ruling by the Land Tribunal which was made and the Council had full control over the land required for the project.

The Council decided to not include the scheme within the AWPR and to progress the scheme as a stand alone project.

Detailed design work on the scheme continued throughout, including regular dialogue with local residents and affected organisations. The tender was issued for competitive pricing, four tenders were received and Balfour Beatty won the tender. The total budget for the scheme including land, staff time and preparatory works is 18M.


  • Roads Design
    Planning and Sustainable Development
    Aberdeen City Council
    Business Hub 4
    Marischal College
    Broad Street
    AB10 1AB
    Phone: 01224 522411
    Fax: 01224 523180