Evening Express (City Final) - - Front Page - BY ADELE MERSON

SUB­STAN­TIAL prob­lems to a ma­jor by­pass bridge could delay the open­ing of the en­tire project, an MSP has claimed. It comes as Trans­port Scot­land con­firmed an up­date on the AWPR will be de­liv­ered by Trans­port Sec­re­tary Michael Mathe­son to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment a week to­day. North-east Lib­eral Demo­crat MSP Mike Rum­bles said he has been told by sources close to the project that there are “sub­stan­tial prob­lems” with the new A90 bridge over the River Don, near Dyce. He added: “I have lodged a ques­tion to ask the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment whether the bridge is in need of re­pair be­fore open­ing to traf­fic. “From what I have heard from sources close to the project, there is some­thing sub­stan­tially wrong with the bridge. If (the up­date) is about that then it means more woes. “They moved the date to the end of au­tumn, which is five weeks away. “My in­for­ma­tion is the prob­lem with the bridge means it can’t pos­si­bly be open by the end of Novem­ber.” Trans­port bosses have main­tained the route will be open in “late au­tumn” but have re­mained tightlipped on an ac­tual open­ing date. It was con­firmed in Au­gust that re­me­dial works were be­ing car­ried out on the new bridge, part of the AWPR, af­ter “mi­nor de­fects” were found. North-east Labour MSP Lewis Mac­don­ald said ev­ery­one would be “im­pa­tient” to hear what the up­date to the project is. A Trans­port Scot­land spokesman said: “We have been mak­ing it clear for some time that the con­trac­tor has not been able to pro­vide an ex­act date for the AWPR to open un­til re­me­dial work at the Don has con­cluded. “In the mean­time, we have been urg­ing them to con­clude their de­lib­er­a­tions on the open­ing of the 31.5km sec­tion of new road from Craib­stone to Stone­haven and Charleston as soon as pos­si­ble. “A pro­posal is still be­ing dis­cussed within their or­gan­i­sa­tions. “This is a com­mer­cial mat­ter for the con­trac­tor but we con­tinue to work closely with them to al­low the peo­ple of the north-east to en­joy the ben­e­fits of the new road as soon as pos­si­ble. “The cabi­net sec­re­tary will pro­vide a full up­date next week.”

Pic­ture by Dar­ryl Benns with Cabro Avi­a­tion and HJS He­li­copters

An MSP claims to have been told there is some­thing “sub­stan­tially wrong” with the AWPR bridge over the Don

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