If all goes to plan, by 2025 80 miles of road between Perth and Inverness will have been upgraded to dual carriageway.
Work started on first five-mile section between Kincraig to Dalraddy started yesterday (10th September). A joint venture of Wills Bros Civil Engineering and John Paul Construction has a £35m contract for this stretch, which will require more than 700,000 tonnes of excavation. This is expected to be complete by summer 2017.
The Scottish government said it was an ‘historic week’ with the A9 project starting just as the Borders Railway reopened after a £300m programme of works.
Cabinet secretary for infrastructure Keith Brown said: “With the official opening of the Borders Railway and now the ground-breaking of work on the A9 this has been a historic week for transport infrastructure in Scotland.
“It is no understatement to say that we are marking an important milestone in what will be one of the largest and most challenging infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history.
“I am very proud that the Scottish government is delivering this major upgrade and, in the weeks and months ahead, people will now see work on the ground as the road progresses.
“When this ambitious programme is complete, enormous economic and social benefits will be felt by communities along the length of the road, and beyond. Today sees the first spade in the ground, with work beginning in earnest to see the programme through to a successful finish.”