Prime Four is a commercial development undertaken by the Drum Property Group and promoted as ‘Aberdeen’s first and only world class business park’.

Client Sir Robert McAlpine
Drum Property Group
Project Major highways works to provide access to a new business park
Outline scope of works Reshaping the Kingswells roundabout and widening a major dual carriageway to incorporate a third stacking lane. Construction of a multi-plate culvert with complex geometry.
Dates November 2012 to May 2013

Project won in competitive tender against major competition.

Worked with Aberdeen City Council to successfully respond to a last minute change in traffic management strategy.

Complex site logistics and build plan structured around around traffic management requirements.

It is located just off the Kingswells roundabout on the A944, one of Aberdeen’s busiest commuter routes. At peak times traffic flow is more than 18,000 vehicles per hour and major queueing is commonplace.

The original traffic management plan was built around a contraflow. A last minute change required dual carriageway access to be maintained between the hours of 7-30am to 10-00am and 4-00pm to 7-00pm. This increased the complexity of materials logistics and the site build programme which had to be focussed primarily on those times when lane closures were permitted.

Such is the importance of the A944 in terms of access to the city that Drum Property Group set up a specific page on its website, continuously updated by W M Donald, which publicised road closure details for the project. Aberdeen City Council’s traffic website linked to the page to ensure the information was made widely available.

The principal task was to provide access to the development site. This involved reshaping the roundabout to accommodate a third ‘stacking’ lane. The new lane, with associated traffic lights, enabled vehicles to turn right into the site. A 5m wide cycle path was also constructed. Utility services were diverted as required.

Access into the site was achieved by the construction of a dual carriageway requiring a culvert to be built over the Den Burn. This was achieved using a multi-plate steel construction (see Engineering Commentary below).

W M Donald also won a contract to build the sewers and infrastructure on the development site.

Scope of Works

  • Complex traffic management
  • Reconstruction of carriageway
  • Diversion of existing services
  • Trunking for new services
  • Street lighting modifications
  • Multiplate culvert
  • Sewers construction with associated headwalls

Engineering Commentary

The geometry of the multi-plate culvert headwall collar over the Den Burn required the design and build of complex shuttering in order to provide a finish in keeping with the status of the business park itself.

Learning Points

"Unlike most projects, Prime Four meant dealing with the complexities created by working in and alongside live traffic. At times, simply reaching the project site felt like a major achievement!

Deliveries of materials such as tar and concrete were mainly made at night when access was easier, but proximity to Kingswells village imposed a constraint on noise after 10pm. Extensive use was made and the data generated during planning was distributed to all parties.

The high public profile of the project raised awareness of W M Donald amongst the general public, and this imposed additional commitments on project managers in terms of, for example, responding to requests from the media.

Ewan Riddoch – Technical Director

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Web Links

  Prime Four Business Park Website