A significant milestone was reached on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) on Wednesday, June 21, when the project’s 1,000th beam was lifted into place at the new Goval Junction.
The first beams for the project arrived back in October 2015 when 23 beams, each 33m long, were put into place at the Tipperty Underpass. Now, less than two years later, with 17 beams at 15.9m long being installed at Goval, over 1,000 beams have been delivered to the north east and lifted into place; 40 of which were almost 50m long.
Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work said: “It is fitting that the 1,000th beam was delivered to the new Goval Junction.
"It will be a major interchange for the north east, requiring 133 beams to be placed across six bridges, and will allow road users to travel between the AWPR and local areas, including Parkhill, Balmedie, Newmachar, Turriff, Ellon and Oldmeldrum.
“Every delivery required intricate planning by the contractor, along with Police Scotland, Transport Scotland and the Local Authorities to ensure the local community and road users can continue as normal as much as possible, in a safe environment.
“Beam deliveries and their subsequent installation are integral to this project, the longest roads construction project currently underway in the UK, as the route is interlinked through a connection of 75 bridges, including two river crossings and one railway bridge, as well as 70 culverts.
“Over the next three decades, the AWPR/B-T is expected to bring in an additional £6 billion to the north-east economy and create around 14,000 new jobs. Around 1,500 people are currently working on the project, including on-the-job training for apprentices and local employment opportunities for long-term unemployed people.
A further 183 beams are still required for the project, including ten 43m long beams for the Stonehaven Junction.
The remaining beams, which are between 9m and 17m long, are required for a small number of bridges still to be completed across the project and are all planned to be in place by Autumn 2017.
When complete, the AWPR/B-T will help to reduce congestion, cut journey times, improve safety and lower pollution in Aberdeen City Centre. It will also enable local authorities to develop public transport solutions.