Work starts on north-east A96 bottleneck
New transport minister Derek Mackay was in the north-east today to mark the start of construction work on a notorious bottleneck on the A96 at Inveramsay Bridge.
The minister said the new £10 million scheme will bring significant benefits for road users, and reflects the Scottish Government’s determination to deliver a raft of transport improvements right across the north-east.
Speaking from the construction site, Mr Mackay said: “The start of work at Inveramsay Bridge is a significant milestone for road users and when complete will bring huge benefits through reduced congestion and improved journey time reliability.
“This work is just part of a package of transport improvement work under way right across the north-east. We have made an enormous financial commitment to bring transport up to the standard the north east deserves - nearly £1 billion of investment – underlining the important part we see the region playing in supporting sustainable economic growth across Scotland.
“We are pressing ahead with the Aberdeen bypass and will now deliver the scheme even earlier than planned with completion now expected in winter 2017. The scheme will bring around £6bn worth of benefits and 14,000 jobs to the north-east economy, and we want these benefits felt as soon as possible.
“In light of this new delivery date, we are also reviewing the programme of work for Haudagain roundabout with £3m committed to take forward the schemes design, and ground investigations work already under way. In addition, we have provided £170m to improve rail links between Aberdeen and Inverness and have made a longer term commitment to dual the A96 between the two cities with preparatory work on the first sections under development.
“This work start at Inveramsay Bridge reflects where we want to take transport infrastructure for the north east – preparing, procuring and providing improvements to bring the benefits as early as possible.”
Mr Mackay met with representatives from Balfour Beatty, the contractor tasked with constructing approximately 1.5 km of new road, including a new bridge that enables the A96 trunk road to be realigned over the Aberdeen to Inverness railway.
George Hood, Balfour Beatty managing director for Northern Scotland, added: “Balfour Beatty is delighted to be working with Transport Scotland to deliver another significant infrastructure project in the North East of Scotland. Disruption to drivers will be kept to an absolute minimum and when completed the benefits of this improvement will be welcomed by all.”
The Inveramsay Bridge improvements will reduce the likelihood of bridge strikes by realigning the A96 to avoid the low headroom bridge and improve traffic flow through the area by allowing 2-way traffic on the trunk road without the need for the traffic signals currently in place.
Improvement work is expected to be completed in 2016.