The Scottish Government has unveiled the shortlist for the next phase of the £3bn A9 dualling project.
Transport minister Graeme Dey announced three contractors are in the running for the £115m project to upgrade 9.6 km of the road between Tomatin and Moy.
Mr Dey, second from right, at the works site
These are: Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd; John Graham Construction Ltd and Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd.
Transport Scotland said it anticipates that the construction contract for the works, which constituted the third section of the A9 Dualling, will be awarded in the second half of 2022.
With opposition politicians continuing to question whether the £3bn project, which was due to be completed by 2025, will ever be finished, Mr Dey said the announcement ‘maintains momentum and shows further progress on the Scottish Government’s commitment to dual the A9’.
However, neither Mr Dey nor Transport Scotland specifically mentioned that the Scottish Government’s commitment has until now been to dual the upgrade the whole route from Perth to Inverness to dual carriageway.
A time lapse video released by Network Rail reveals the demolition of the original 1884 masonry arch rail bridge at Lynebeg, near Inverness, followed by the successful installation of the new structure during a 78-hour possession of the Highland Mainline.
Mr Dey said: ‘The success of the Lynebeg rail bridge installation marks a significant milestone for the A9 Dualling: Tomatin to Moy project, as the first tangible improvement to the transport infrastructure as part of the project’s advance works.
‘Not only is this new structure safeguarding and improving connectivity on Scotland’s Highland Mainline, but also these works will help to deliver the ongoing A9 Dualling programme and will enhance the local infrastructure for the benefit of the surrounding communities.’
Transport Scotland said the work marks a significant milestone in the progress of the Tomatin to Moy project and was the culmination of years of meticulous planning and preparation with Network Rail, its contractor BAM Nuttall, Atkins Mouchel Joint Venture.
The construction team used a self-propelled modular transporter system to carry the structure from the site compound, where it was constructed offline over a 10-week period, before manoeuvring the 660-tonne structure several hundred meters along the B1954, and sliding it to its final position.
Transport Scotland said further advance works for the project are expected to commence in early 2022 and will see the creation of a new non-motorised user route, which will initially facilitate local access to a new bus layby and shelter on the B1954.