Transport Scotland has selected a joint venture of CH2MHill and Fairhurst as consulting engineer for the dualling of a 43km of the stretch of the A9 between Glengarry and Dalraddy.
Transport minister Keith Brown said: “The A9 dualling programme is the most expensive transport project in Scotland’s history and presents some of the most challenging work ever witnessed. The appointment of the first design consultancy for this mammoth project marks another significant milestone in this government’s commitment to the project.”
He said: “As well as delivering faster and more reliable journey times and road safety improvements when complete, the design work offers the prospect of steady work for many years ahead for the three successful contractors.
“There will also be many opportunities for small and medium enterprises through sub-consultancy work and the winning bidder has also committed to providing 35 full time roles and 28 summer placement opportunities for apprentices, work experience students and graduates, bringing much-needed opportunities for young people to gain experience working on this vital project linking central Scotland to the Highlands and Islands.”
Transport Scotland is also set to award the ground investigation contract for the 8km Birnam to Tay Crossing section to Soil Engineering.
Work is expected to begin next month and last for six months.
Mr Brown added: “Last month, we announced that the dualling programme would comprise 12 sections to be dualled by 2025 with three sections expected to be shovel ready in 2017, subject to completion of required statutory procedures.
“There is no let-up in the work going on and these important ground investigations will give us the detailed information needed to progress the draft Orders for the difficult Birnam to Tay Crossing section, expected to be published in 2015.
“Like much of the route, this section is very constrained and we are working to minimise any impacts to properties, the railway and the environment.”
The three design contracts for the A9 Dualling programme, to be let by the end of 2014, will cover:
- Pass of Birnam to Glen Garry
- Glen Garry to Dalraddy
- Dalraddy to Inverness.