The Balmedie-Tipperty dual carriageway project is set to be delivered early and millions under budget.
Road users in the North-east have been boosted by confirmation that a key element of the Aberdeen by-pass is now due to be completed by spring, 2017.
The announcement was made last Friday by Cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities, Keith Brown (pictured) during a visit to Aberdeen.
He said: “I’m sure this news will be widely welcomed by local communities, road users and businesses in the North-east and from across Scotland, as this will allow early benefits from the project to be realised in these areas.
“The Aberdeen bypass is now well and truly on its way.”
While the news was welcomed, it also brought a renewed call for the A90 dualling to continue through to Peterhead.
The 28-mile AWPR is now scheduled for completion in winter, 2017.
Aberdeenshire Council leader Councillor Jim Gifford said: “This project will bring substantial benefits to communities, businesses and individuals across the whole of the North-east and, quite rightly, there have been important, detailed processes to follow to allow us to get to this stage.”
Aberdeenshire East MSP Alex Salmond said: “I’m delighted that priority is being given to dualling the Balmedie-Tipperty section of the A90 as part of the AWPR scheme.
“This will vastly improve transport links to the north of Aberdeen, in little over two years’ time, which will be great for local residents and give a fantastic boost to business.
Ellon and District Councillor Richard Thomson said the announcement was a major boost for motorists.
He added: “This project has been held up for so long, not least by the legal challenge, and it’s great to see that key elements will be delivered ahead of schedule.”
Fellow Ellon Councillor Gillian Owen, who has been spearheading the Why Stop at Ellon campaign, said everyone would be delighted that cash was at last being spent on the area’s roads network.
She added: “The AWPR will be a lifeline for business and commuters alike. If only the Scottish Government would now look at supporting the dualling of the A90 from Ellon to Peterhead.
“The North-east is the engine room of Scotland and it is time that the Scottish government woke up to that fact.”
However, North East MSP Alison McInnes questioned the schedule for some sections of the route.
She said: “For those of us who have been stuck in traffic for far too many years, this is a strange definition of ‘early’.
“The dualling of the Balmedie-Tipperty section of the A90 should also have been completed by now.
“Instead the SNP decided to needlessly stall this essential upgrade by combining it with the long-overdue bypass.”