Work will now "proceed apace" on a controversial city bypass after the UK's highest court rejected an appeal against it, the First Minister said.
The UK Supreme Court unanimously dismissed William Walton's third challenge to the £400 million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR).
Scottish ministers approved the 28-mile AWPR in 2009 after a four-month public inquiry, despite a raft of local objections.
The Scottish Government said that the AWPR will now be brought together with the Balmedie to Tipperty road dualling scheme as a single construction project under one Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) contract.
However there is likely to be a "substantial increase" to the overall cost of the project due to the delays.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: "The minority who have held up the AWPR have had many days in court - not to mention a protracted public local inquiry - and they have lost on every occasion. Now that their challenge has come to an end, our focus is now to move on from these unwanted legal problems and make quick progress for the people of the north-east - they have waited long enough." He added that "work will now proceed apace".
Work is expected to begin in 2014 and be complete by the spring of 2018.
Mr Walton, chair of chairman of pressure group Road Sense, said he was disappointed by the court's decision.
He had argued that the fastlink which formed part of the AWPR scheme had been adopted without the consultation required by the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (SEA), and that the scope of the public inquiry should have included the question whether the fastlink was required. In his summary today Supreme Court judge Lord Reed said that no strategic environmental assessment was needed as the scheme was classified as a project rather than a modification of a plan or programme.
Mr Walton said: "Obviously this is not what I had hoped for, or expected. I have always maintained that the route selection process was flawed and that people living along the fastlink were deprived their rightful opportunity to be consulted. Clearly the Court has come to a different view. Nevertheless, I take some comfort from the Court's view that the action was legitimate."