Latest: River Dee Crossing
The River Dee Crossing will see significant works over the coming months as the new bridge begins to take shape.
Works on the two hammerhead piers, on either side of the river, are progressing well, which will allow the main superstructure to get underway shortly.
The bridge is a three-span structure with the main centre span over the river at 120m long and two end spans of 75m each. The deck will be a hollow box design and will be constructed using the balanced cantilever technique.
This involves having a pair of cantilever forming travellers (CFTs) which use the hammerhead pier as the initial anchor point and move outwards from the pier in opposite directions, adding concrete deck segments on either side of the pier at the same time - ensuring that the weight of the deck is always balanced.
The CFTs will continue to add segments until they meet in the middle and reach the bridge abutments at the ends of the south and north spans. This should take place late this summer. There will also be pre-stressed cables running through the deck, which will help the bridge to maintain its shape and bear the weight of the traffic using it.
As the deck work progresses over the river, the CFTs will be a striking sight when the segments are being added. Special safety netting will be in place during the works and additional environmental measures are being taken to protect the river and its habitat.
The temporary diversion put in place for users of the Deeside Way changed on Monday 30 January. This new diversion will remain in place until the permanent alignment opens in summer 2017.
The temporary diversion for those heading west requires users of the Deeside Way to continue along Deeside Way towards the new Milltimber Brae Overbridge and then along a path close to the SUDS ponds and haul road. During working hours they will be escorted across a haul road by an AWPR/B-T project operative. The haul road at this area will have a blacktop covering to enhance the safety of users. Users will then join the B979 footway and back on to the Deeside Way. The reverse journey is necessary for those travelling east.
Outwith working hours, the traffic lights at the haul route will be switched off and the gates to the site will be closed at either side. This will create a clear passageway across the haul road and provide users of the Deeside Way with a safe through-road.
The diversion is in place to ensure users of the Deeside Way can continue their journeys safely while essential utility works are undertaken and substantive construction works progress at this location. Users of the Deeside Way are requested to observe the signage in place for safety reasons.
The new temporary diversion will be significantly shorter than the existing temporary diversion by 400 metres. The previous diversion was around 700m and the new current diversion is around 300m.
There will be NO heavy goods vehicles in this area while this diversion is in place.
- Blue line – Deeside Way
- Red line – Old diversion
- Yellow line – New diversion
The permanent bridge, carrying Milltimber Brae over the AWPR, will be built as set-out in the plans in 2007. Once this bridge is complete and open, it will also provide users of the Deeside Way with a safe access and over the new AWPR.
The layout of the AWPR at Milltimber and Deeside Way has been designed such that the Old Deeside railway line has the potential to reopen in the future should it be required.
Get ready for winter
With winter almost upon us, the contractor for the AWPR/B-T is continuing to update and refine its plans for keeping the roads for which it is responsible open to traffic, and is also asking road users to play their part to get ready for winter.
Aberdeen Roads Limited is currently operating and maintaining a section of the existing A90 between Murcar Roundabout and Ellon South Roundabout, and the new Craibstone Junction on the A96. However, all road users have a part to play in ensuring they are fully prepared for winter weather.
Malcolm Findlay, General Manager of Aberdeen Roads Limited, said:
“We started to plan for this winter almost as soon as the last winter season ended. Using data from the previous winter period, we analysed any trends and identified areas that could be improved to ensure a safe network is maintained. Our team has also reviewed and updated Winter Service Plans, maintained and upgraded equipment where necessary and replenished salt (grit) stocks. Our workers have also received additional training, for instance on the interpretation of weather forecasts.
“With the days getting shorter and light fading faster, it is now is a good time for road users to plan for how they’ll keep safe on the road this autumn and winter. They should plan their journey and modify their driving to match the weather conditions. We also ask them to take more care than usual when approaching any interface with the project to allow adequate time to react to any changes to the road layout, or temporary traffic management that they may not be used to.”
Aberdeen Roads Limited has set out 10 items drivers should take with them if they have no choice but to drive in winter weather:
- an ice scraper and de-icer on every journey
- clean cloths to clear windscreens/windows
- a high-visibility vest/coat
- a warning triangle
- a fully charged mobile phone – for use only when parked safely
- a wind-up torch or battery torch with spare batteries
- a blanket, warm coat and boots
- sunglasses (the low winter sun and glare off snow or wet roads can be dazzling)
- a spade, if driving in snow
- snow socks or an old rug to help with traction if you’re stuck
In addition, when setting out on journeys during the winter season, you should consider taking food and a hot drink in a thermos with you, as well as a first aid kit and any medication you or other people travelling with you need to take regularly. You can also check the latest reports of current road conditions and severe weather warnings at www.metoffice.gov.uk.
Blasting at Charleston Junction (4 November 2016)
Blasting works at Charleston, which were expected to start around 20 August 2016 on the A90 southbound merge, and around 17 October 2016 on the A90 northbound merge, are no longer required because the contractor has so far been able to break down rock in this area using mechanical equipment.
The AWPR/B-T project has been designed to improve road safety over a wide area by removing traffic from unsuitable local roads. However, in order to build the road, it is sometimes necessary for the contractor to use local roads to transport construction materials.
To ensure this is undertaken safely, the contractor agrees a number of preferred routes with local authorities to transport construction materials using heavy goods vehicles before construction works commenced.
The heavy goods vehicles are able to travel on any public road if they are not carrying materials, just like other traffic.
As construction continues, the contractor is increasingly using a number of temporary “haul” roads within the site to transport materials along the route of the AWPR/B-T. This is significantly reducing the need for HGVs to use local roads.
The contractor has been working closely with Transport Scotland, the local authorities and Police Scotland to ensure the safety of road users and the workforce during construction, whilst keeping disruption to a minimum.
Extended working hours
Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council have granted applications from the contractor to extend its working hours across the project. The general working hours for the project are 0700 hours to 1900 hours Monday to Saturday, with some exceptions. In addition, works are permitted between 0700 hours and 1900 hours on Sundays in the area between the A944 and the River Don.
The contractor has also applied for further extensions to approved working hours. These extended hours will provide the contractor with increased flexibility to undertake works, during periods where weather conditions and hence ground conditions are favourable. The works being carried out will be very similar to the works the contractor normally undertakes each week. This will include earthworks, working on new structures, installing culverts, road surfacing works and diverting and installing new services including drainage.
To facilitate these works approvals are now in place on the South section from River Dee to Stonehaven to work on Sundays from 0830 hours to 1630 hours up until the end of October 2016. Works will commence from Sunday 7 August 2016 at Charleston Junction for 24 hour working until the end of October 2016. This is due to the work required on and adjacent to the A90 and lane closures which can only occur in the evening. Similarly, nightworks are also permitted along the A96 due to traffic management requirements. Earthworks are permitted to occur in the north section from Balmedie to Tipperty until the end of the year.
Other extended working hours have been permitted across the project and where this is the case, the contractor has carried out a ‘neighbour notification’ exercise in relevant areas to ensure that residents in the vicinity of these works are advised of the changes.
Anyone who has any questions relating to the change in working hours should contact the Community Liaison Team on its enquiries line 0800 058 8350, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Contact and Education Space at the main project office in Stonehaven.
Works are progressing well on the construction of the new Aberdeen-Inverness Railway Bridge. The bridge, which has been designed in consultation with Network Rail, will accommodate any potential future works on the Aberdeen-Inverness railway line. The foundations have been put in place and work to construct the walls will begin soon. More information on this railway bridge will be available in the coming months.
Pylons make way for new AWPR River Don Crossing
The new AWPR/B-T Crossing at the River Don has taken a major step forward with the dismantling of four electricity pylons. The contractor has been working alongside SHE Transmission to ensure the pylons can be replaced with a single tower and underground cabling. These works cleared the site to enable major construction works to start on the River Don Crossing.
Works start at the River Dee
Works are continuing to progress well across the AWPR/B-T site. At the River Dee Crossing, a piling rig is being used to prepare for the foundations for the bridge’s piers, which involves creating holes in the ground which are then filled with concrete (piles). The piling rig has sunk a series of test piles, which will be rigorously tested to ensure they are strong enough to support the new bridge. Test piling has also started at the River Don Crossing.
The AWPR/B-T contractor has brought in additional support of the feathered variety for works near Aberdeen International Airport. Hawks are being used to reduce the number of birds in some areas while earthworks are carried out. Birds are often attracted to these types of works because it provides an opportunity to feed on worms in the soil. A Bird Management Plan was developed for the AWPR/B-T project in consultation with the airport. The hawks are in the care of experienced handlers, and travel to different locations to provide this kind of service on other major projects.
Safety measures have been put in place for the duration of earthworks including protection of underground and overhead equipment, such as water pipes and power lines. These measures will enable construction traffic to travel through the site safely and reduce the number of construction vehicles using existing roads.
New Roads Helpline Number
The operation and maintenance of the A90 between Murcar Roundabout and Ellon Roundabout is now being managed by Aberdeen Roads Limited.
The new 24-hour helpline number is 0800 058 8350.
Road users can dial the helpline to report any incident or faults on this section of the A90.
After the AWPR/B-T project is completed in winter 2017, Aberdeen Roads Limited will operate and maintain the new roads for a 30 year period.
Main Construction Works Begin
The main construction works officially got underway in February 2015 after the First Minister took part in a ground-breaking ceremony. These initial works include site clearance, site access works and fencing across the 58 km site, as well as constructing the main site office in Stonehaven. There will also be section offices in Craibstone and Balmedie. Utility companies are also undertaking works along the route.
Preparing for the main works
August 2014 – December 2014
A pre-start works agreement enabled the preferred bidder to undertake further design work and to begin works including environmental surveys and ground investigations ahead of the main works contract.
October 2012 – August 2014
Several major advance works were undertaken in this period, including archaeological surveys, ground investigations and hydrological and hydrogeological monitoring.
A range of environmental mitigation measures were also completed. This involved the creation of new habitats for a wide range of protected species, including water voles, badgers, bats, red squirrels and otters.
2006 – September 2012
In addition to the statutory process and design development work, one of the largest environmental and ecological surveys in Scottish development history was undertaken.