Bridge under construction in Aberdeen needs structural repairs

Bridge under construction in Aberdeen needs structural repairs
The AWPR bridge under construction, Aberdeen, Scotland © Iain Cameron

Scottish transport officials have revealed that millions of pounds worth of structural repairs will be needed to a bridge that is still under construction.

The new bridge is under construction in Dyce, a borough of the city of Aberdeen, Scotland, and is due to open in late autumn of this year as part of a new city bypass. However, a survey of the project last month identified what roads authority Transport Scotland referred to as ‘minor defects’, which will necessitate additional structural repairs before the bridge opens.

Transport Scotland has sought to reassure the citizens of Aberdeen that the cost of the work will fall within the current budget of the project, but construction contractor Balfour Beatty has warned that the repair work could cost several million pounds and delay the opening of the bridge.

What are the structural concerns with the bridge?

Transport Scotland has not specified the nature of the ‘minor defects’ it found with the bridge’s structure, but confirmed that some sections of concrete panels would need to be replaced. The body has also announced that more than 30 restrictions will be placed on drivers using the bridge once it opens, and warned that it may introduce temporary speed limits to prevent damage to the road.

A spokesperson for the transport authority insisted: “It is not unusual for minor defects to appear during the construction of major infrastructure projects. The contractor will undertake the necessary remedial works, at no extra cost to the taxpayer. The AWPR/B-T project remains on schedule to open to traffic by late autumn 2018.”

Concerns have been raised in recent weeks about infrastructure in many European cities, following the collapse of a 2m section of a bridge in Genoa, Italy, last week. Many countries have begun to undertake surveys to inspect the structural integrity of their road infrastructure in response to the disaster.

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