The consortium delivering the £500m Aberdeen bypass has announced the the Balmedie to Tipperty section of the project will not be completed until next winter.
In a letter to the rural economy and connectivity committee, Scottish economy secretary Keith Brown said the consortium had advised client body Transport Scotland that the Balmedie to Tipperty section of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) would not be opening until late 2017 at the earliest.
The consortium – comprising Balfour Beatty, Carillion and Galliford Try’s Scottish infrastructure business Morrison Construction, as well as its investments division Galliford Try Investments – announced in November that the timetable for the project had slipped.
Mr Brown said: “The contractor confirmed that it had not completed key earthworks prior to the current winter period, resulting in a consequential impact for the programme for that section.”
These works had been put on hold due to environmental risks that could have occurred if works were to continue through the winter.
Mr Brown added: “Since November, my officials have interrogated the contractor’s programme and challenged them to ensure they are mitigating the effects where possible.”
Transport Scotland’s technical advisers have also conducted a full independent programme review.
The whole AWPR project is now expected to open by spring 2018 at the latest.
It was originally delayed due to a legal challenge from local campaign group Road Sense and the case was taken to the UK Supreme Court.
The case was overturned, as the court ruled the trunk road network was “urgently in need of improvement”.
Transport Scotland, Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council appointed the consortium for the project in 2014.
Each of the contractors is investing around £20m in the scheme and expects to receive a third of its projected revenue.