Transport Scotland has awarded Fugro Geoservices a £1.2 million ground investigation contract on the A9.
The contract will help progress two dualling schemes - Tay Crossing to Ballinluig and Pitlochry to Killiecrankie.
The stretch between Dowally and Ballinluig will be progressed separately as both online and offline options are currently under consideration for that part of the route.
The ground investigation work is expected to begin in September and be completed by the end of the year.
Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf said: “The A9 dualling programme between Perth and Inverness is one of the largest and most challenging infrastructure projects in Scotland’s history and throughout the summer we have been carrying out the vital ground investigation work that will support the ongoing design work across the dualling programme.
"This latest significant ground investigation contract will help inform the design work for two of the sections to be dualled.”