RJ McLeod (Contractors), Morrison Construction, Roadbridge UK and Wills Bros Civil Engineering have been invited to submit full bids for the contract.
This next stage of procurement sees the four bidders enter into competitive dialogue, which is anticipated to last until summer.
The winning contractor will be tasked with improving the road alignment, which currently has a tight hairpin bend preventing two HGVs driving in opposite directions from passing.
Road safety issues at Berriedale Braes were highlighted in May 2010 when a serious accident was avoided when the barrier on the bend stopped a school bus from going over the edge.
Construction work is expected to start later this year.
Scotland’s transport minister, Humza Yousaf, said: “The Scottish government remains committed to delivering this much needed improvement and today’s announcement takes us another step closer towards delivering these benefits for road users in the north of Scotland.”