The Scottish Government backed A92/A96 Haudagain improvement project has opened to traffic this week, delivering 500 metres of new dual carriageway, allowing road users in Aberdeen to bypass an area well known for causing significant queues and delays for traffic.
The new dual carriageway link road will take traffic between the A92 North Anderson Drive and A96 Auchmill Road and improve traffic flow, alleviate congestion in the area and improve journey time reliability.
The opening of this £49.5 million new road will further enhance the benefits road users in the north-east are already enjoying from the £745 million investment in the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie-Tipperty project. Prior to cutting the ribbon to mark the road opening, Minister for Transport, Jenny Gilruth MSP visited the Middlefield Community Project to hear more about some of the community benefits that the Contractor, Farrans Construction, has delivered during the construction period.
Ms Gilruth was then accompanied on a short walk to the new road by Farrans Construction staff Carol Fleming and Jack Patton, whose experience on the project enabled them to gain qualifications as well as a wealth of experience working on a major infrastructure project.
Commenting, the Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth said: “It has been just over three years since construction work began on this key improvement for Aberdeen and later today the public will be able to travel along it for the first time.
“The new dual carriageway will help tackle the congestion caused by the traffic bottleneck at the Haudagain roundabout and deliver significant benefits including improving journey time for road users and public transport.
“I know there have been delays to the completion of this project, which has been understandably frustrating for the local community. The contractors did suffer from staff shortages due to the impact of the Omicron variant at the turn of the year and I am hopeful the community will now welcome the project’s completion.
“I was delighted to cut the ribbon to open this new road, allowing the local community and road users of Aberdeen to start enjoying the benefits that it will bring to the north-east.”
Barry McLean, Regional Director for Farrans in Scotland, said: “We are pleased to have reached this important milestone in the progress of the A92/A96 Haudagain improvement project. We have worked closely with Transport Scotland to deliver a scheme which will alleviate bottlenecks at the roundabout, creating a new dual carriage way and enabling improved pedestrian and cycling routes through the local area.
“Farrans is one of the longest standing civil engineering contractors in Scotland and this year we are celebrating 75 years in the country. We are proud to have delivered a successful legacy of roads and bridges, renewables, marine and light rail projects here during that time. This is a very important region for our business and we are pleased to add this integral project milestone to our portfolio.”
With the road now open to traffic, contractor Farrans Construction will remain on site for a period of time to complete work on the side roads and to undertake necessary finishing, snagging and seasonal landscaping works.
The contract to construct the A92/A96 Haudagain Improvement project was awarded to Farrans Construction in January 2019 with a value of £18 million.
It has also taken on apprentices for the project.
Carol Fleming completed two Construction Technical Modern Apprenticeships, Construction Site Supervisor and Construction Site Management on the A92/A96 Haudagain Improvement Project.
Having had the opportunity to gain a wealth of experience onsite with Contractor Farrans Construction, she has progressed from Graduate Engineer to Senior Engineer during her time on the project.
Carol said: “I knew when I was at school that I wanted to work in the construction industry. I had a keen interest in maths and physics and loved spending time outdoors.
“I have been working onsite on the Haudagain Improvement Project in Aberdeen for Farrans since 2019 when I undertook a construction technical Modern Apprenticeship. This allowed me to enhance my existing skills, covering a wide range of topics such as the management of construction planning, estimating, highways maintenance, building and civil engineering.
“Modern Apprenticeship courses provide a great opportunity to learn on the job. My typical day is varied and can involve using GPS and total station, liaising with subcontractors and completing site paperwork.”
Jack Paton – Farrans, Site Engineer:
Jack started work on the Haudagain Improvement Project at the start of 2020. Working as one of our site operatives, he quickly realised that he wanted to expand on his existing skills and knowledge.
Jack is currently coming to the end of his HNC in Civil Engineering, where he has gained further site experience and ‘classroom’ learning in tandem. As well as gaining SVQ Construction Site Supervision, Health and Safety-First Aid at Work, EUSR Localising Utility Services.
Over the course of the Haudagain Project Jack has progressed in his professional role within Farrans Construction from Operative to Apprentice Engineer and is currently a Site Engineer.
Jack spoke about his career aspirations and said: “My experiences in construction have given me a basic understanding of the industry. Working for Farrans Construction I aspire to gain a better knowledge of construction projects as a whole – not just about the processes involved in the construction of project, but also gaining an understanding of design concepts. I would also like to continue to develop further skills and progress within Farrans Construction.”