Construction work has temporarily stopped on the £745M Aberdeen Western Periphery Route (AWPR) following ‘significant’ silt pollution.
Aberdeen Roads Limited – comprising Balfour Beatty Investments, Carillion Private Finance and Galliford Try Investments – is constructing the new 58 km road. The construction joint venture includes Balfour Beatty, Morrison Construction and Carillion.
According to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), officers have been investigating multiple reports of significant silt pollution in watercourses surrounding the AWPR following heavy downpours last night.
SEPA executive director Calum MacDonald said: “The pollution appears to have resulted from runoff water from the construction site being flushed into smaller watercourses, including tributaries of the Rivers Dee and Don.
“Due to the potential scale of pollution, Aberdeen Roads Limited has voluntarily halted construction work on the project. This will allow for AWPR contractors to provide assurance to SEPA, within seven days, that adequate measures and monitoring are in place to protect against potential pollution. During this time, SEPA officers will continue to inspect the entirety of the route to identify the sources and impact of pollution on the wider water environment, which includes protected spawning grounds for Salmon and Freshwater Pearl Mussels. Transport Scotland is supporting SEPA with its ongoing investigation.”
A statement from Transport Scotland said: ”Aberdeen Roads Limited - the project contractor - has been working over the past three days to mitigate excess water flowing from the project site, following a prolonged period of heavy rain across the north east. However, the measures put in place have been overwhelmed by the extent of the heavy rain.
“Aberdeen Roads Limited has voluntarily stopped its works to focus its efforts on improving the mitigation measures in place. We take our environmental responsibilities seriously and are supporting SEPA in its investigation. We are also working with the contractor to secure watercourses across the site and to enable construction works to continue at the earliest opportunity.”