£1m job finally signals start on AWPR

Keith Brown
Transport minister Keith Brown on site as ground investigations begin.

GROUND investigations have started to prepare the way for the controversial Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR).
Transport Minister Keith Brown was joined at the north-east site by graduate engineer Callum Murdoch who is one of around 900 construction workers expected to be employed on the project over the next five years.
Soil Engineering Ltd, which has a Scottish office in North Lanarkshire, is carrying out the £1m contract for the supplementary ground investigation over the next six months.
The findings will give potential bidders the information needed to submit their tenders for the main works contract which will be issues in the spring.
A graduate of the University of Glasgow, engineering geologist Callum is working towards securing his chartership at consultant Jacobs. He was previously involved in the Glendoe recovery project in the Highlands.
“It’s a major and exciting project, and from my point of view a brilliant one for moving towards my chartership, and working on the AWPR gives me a huge range of site experience,” said the 27-year-old.
“From these ground investigations we then go on to the advanced works such as ecological mitigation projects. Moving into the road construction phase there are earthworks and cuttings – the project covers so many aspects of my role.”
The construction contract will stipulate that all employment opportunities must be advertised through local job centres and all sub-contracts to be tendered must be advertised on the Public Contracts Scotland web portal.
As with other major contracts, minimum requirements will be set for apprentices, graduate trainees and jobs, securing wider benefits for the local community.
The project itself is expected to generate 14,000 jobs and around £6 billion investment in the region over the next 30 years.
Transport minister Brown added: “The Scottish Government has already signalled its commitment to crack on and build the AWPR/Balmedie-Tipperty project following the conclusion of the long-running legal challenge last month,” said Brown.
“Just one month on and we have already informed the construction industry tenders for the main works will be issued in spring next year. Now, with the award of this contract, we are hitting the ground running and providing tangible evidence of our ability to deliver this much-needed project for the north east.
“It is important that projects like AWPR can provide real employment opportunities and offer graduates like Callum a solid career foundation. The AWPR has clear benefits in terms of the jobs it will create and the investment it will attract.”