Consultants have been invited by the Scottish Government to tender for a £30M contract for detailed design work for the first section of its ambitious A96 dualling programme.
Transport Scotland says the winning frim will take forward the development, assessment and promotion of the preferred option for the 30km A96 Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) scheme.
Details of the preferred option are expected to be announced in October when plans will go on public display.
The project forms part of a wider scheme to upgrade the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen to dual carriageway, a task that the Scottish Government hopes to finish by 2030. This will see around 142km of upgraded road delivered, completing the dual carriageway network between all of Scotland’s cities.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “Dualling the A96 is a significant undertaking which requires careful, in-depth planning and design to ensure that we deliver the right scheme to help tackle congestion and provide better journey time reliability and road safety for all users.”
Transport Scotland says it anticipates that dualling the A96 will promote economic growth through the creation of local jobs, provide an opportunity to improve pedestrian, cyclist and equestrian facilities and improve access and connections to public transport.
Mr Brown added: “The contract notice being published today will allow us to appoint a design consultant early next year to develop the preferred option and look to publish draft orders for the scheme in 2016.
“This contract reinforces our determination to invest in this road and all of our city to city roads to bring them up to full dual carriageway standard.”
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