Four firms are left in the race for a £70m deal to deliver 9.5 km of dual carriageway in central Scotland.
Balfour Beatty, Dragados, Wills Bros / Lagan Construction Group and Farrans / Roadbridge have all been shortlisted by Transport Scotland for the contract, which will see the upgrade to dual carriageway between Luncarty and the Pass of Bimam near Perth.
The project will see the construction of five overbridges, two retaining walls and two structural culverts, as well as the delivery of associated earthworks and drainage.
The successful bidder will also be required to provide cyclical maintenance for the dualled road once completed.
Transport Scotland said it hoped to award the deal in the first half of 2018, with work expected to start later in the year.
The section north of Perth is part of a major upgrade programme on Scotland’s A9 road, which will see more than 128 km of dual carriageway built between Perth and Inverness by 2025.
Three major design contracts are already in place for the programme, with Atkins / Mouchel designing the northern section, CH2M / Fairhurst taking on the central stretch and Jacobs overseeing the southern section.
The Scottish Government has selected preferred routes for 90 per cent of the programme and construction projects are already under way along the route.
These include a £35m dualling project between Kincraig and Dalraddy just south of Inverness.
The scheme is being carried out by a joint venture of Irish contractors Wills Bros and John Paul Construction.
Scotland’s cabinet secretary for economy, jobs and fair work Keith Brown said: “When this section is open to traffic, drivers will enjoy safer opportunities to overtake, a reduction in frustration, reduced congestion, improved journey times and a better experience travelling between the central belt and Inverness.”
“This is a significant milestone towards achieving the Scottish Government’s ambitions to introduce more than 80 miles of new dual carriageway on the A9 all the way from Perth to Inverness by 2025.”