Wills Bros Civil Engineering and John Paul Construction have been earmarked for a £35m contract to widen the 7.5km section of the A9 between Kincraig and Dalraddy to dual carriageway.
Transport Scotland said that the contract price came in £15m below its budget.
Ground investigations work on the central section of the A9 between Glen Garry and Dalraddy is set to start soon. Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical is lined up for a £1.1m contract for this. Both awards are subject to a mandatory standstill period.
Construction at the southern section of the project will run mainly in parallel to the west of the existing A9, before crossing over and providing widening to the east of the A9 for the northern section of the project. The overall A9 upgrade is set to cost £3bn.
Work on the A9 Kincraig to Dalraddy project has been brought forward by six months thanks to savings achieved on the Queensferry Crossing, Transport Scotland said.
Cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities, Keith Brown, said: “The Scottish government’s ambitious programme for the A9 between Perth to Inverness is now well underway with dualling set to start on this first section shortly and designs now at various stages along the route.
“The ground investigations due to start next month between Glen Garry and Dalraddy will also help inform the ongoing design work for the central section of the A9.
“We have been able to again make considerable savings on one of our infrastructure projects, following significant contract awards for the M8 M73 M74 motorway improvements project and the AWPR/Balmedie-Tipperty last year, due to our robust procurement process which ensures that all the efficiencies that can be put in place have been implemented.”
He added: “The improved road will provide overtaking opportunities in both directions, cutting the number of vehicle convoys and reducing driver frustration. It will also support businesses, communities and tourism throughout Scotland by improving access to and from the Highlands.”