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Connect Roads wins £745m Aberdeen bypass roads bundle

Breaking: The Connect Roads consortium has fended off two rival consortia to land the long-delayed Aberdeen bypass roads bundle.

The consortium, which comprises Balfour Beatty Investments, Carillion Private Finance and Galliford Try, had been widely tipped to land the job, which includes both the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route and A90 Balmedie-Tipperty schemes.

It fended off competition from the North East Roads Partnership and Granite City bids.

Construction News revealed last year that a fourth consortium, Scotia Roads Group, which comprised Bam PPP, Costain, Iridium and Sir Robert McAlpine Capital, had withdrawn from the race having been invited to take part in competitive dialogue in May.

The AWPR scheme has been long delayed after a series of legal challenges, but overcame a challenge in the Supreme Court in October 2012.

The scheme is the largest to have ever been procured through the Non Profit Distributing model used in Scotland for major schemes. The model is based on the private finance initiative but with caps on private sector profits to encourage the redistribution of surpluses to the public purse.

How the deal breaks down

The three contractors will each invest up to £20m – a third share of the sponsor’s investment requirement – and will carry out construction in joint venture.

In 2018, once the construction is complete, the trunk road assets will be managed and maintained by Balfour Beatty on behalf of Connect Roads for 30 years.

The project includes the design and build of 46 km of new dual carriageway between Stonehaven and Charleston in the south and Blackdog in the north, and a further 12 km of upgraded existing dual carriageway between Blackdog and Tipperty. 

The contractors will build 40 km of new side roads, 30 km of access tracks and 72 new structures, including two significant focal point bridges over the rivers Dee and Don.

An additional six months was allocated for completion of the project in the Scottish Government’s budget last year.

The government anticipates it will now take 42 months to complete construction of the AWPR, as opposed to its original 36-month timeframe, though Transport Scotland has confirmed it expects to complete the project as planned in spring 2018.

Transport minister Keith Brown said: “AWPR advance works are well under way with SMEs from the north-east already benefiting – a contract worth nearly half a million pounds for the construction of a local connecting road here at Findon Junction is just one case in point.”

The government will contribute an 81 per cent share of the £745m costs, while Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council’s 9.5 per cent share will be capped at £75m each.

Work is expected to start later this year, with construction completion expected in 2018.

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