The already delayed Aberdeen bypass will not open until assurances about its impact are received, despite physical works being finished, Scotland’s tranport minister Michael Matheson has warned.
According to the minister, the Scottish government must receive assurances on the “impact of remedial work” and “changed costs of future maintenance” for the £745M Aberdeen bypass before it opens.
In a statement, the minister also accused joint venture firms Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try, together known as Aberdeen Roads Limited (ARL), of causing delays because of “defective workmanship” on the Don Crossing,
The project completion date had gone from before Christmas 2018 to the New Year because of now completed remedial works. In December, Balfour Beatty had said in a trading update that it expected to finish remaining works on the troubled route before the end of 2018.
The project has suffered from the collapse of Carillion, the hazardous conditions caused by the Beast from the East storm, and technical issues surrounding the River Don crossing.
Matheson said: “We are now at the end of January and ARL is still not in a position to open this final section. The people of the north-east will want to know why ARL has failed to deliver its own programme once again and I am committed to keeping them fully updated.
“I am pleased to report all remaining physical works at the Don Crossing have finished. But the road can only be fully opened once ministers receive the necessary assurances about the longer-term impact of the remedial work and the changed costs of future maintenance.
He added: “We are not prepared to pick up the tab for mistakes made by construction companies. No responsible government could ever saddle the public purse with uncertain costs for an uncertain period of time.”
The minister has requested an “urgent meeting” with Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try.
“I am seeking yet another urgent meeting with the senior ARL team to leave them in no doubt as to how resolute our defence of the public purse will be,” he said.
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