£50 million A96 design contract
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A £50 MIllION design contract for another section of A96 dualling has been published.
It follows the award earlier this year for the £30 million Inverness to Nairn, including a Nairn bypass, section.
The latest contract covers around 29 miles of the western section of the A96 east of Auldearn to east of Fochabers.
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Keith Brown said: "This major contract marks a further milestone towards the dualling of the A96 with all the investment and improvements that will bring to the Highlands and north-east of Scotland.
"The publication of this contract notice marks another significant milestone in a dualling programme that will deliver a number of benefits when completed, including improved journey time and reliability, improved connectivity and improved road safety for all those who use this key artery connecting two of Scotland’s economic hubs.
"When this contract is awarded early next year, design work for the western section will step up a gear with route option assessment work getting underway.
"This contract will also provide the successful bidders with steady work for years to come and many more opportunities for small and medium enterprises through subcontracted work, so it will be a boost for the local and national economy."
The A96 project is running in tandem with a £3 billion upgrade of the A9 between Inverness and Perth.
Over 2,000 people visited A96 public exhibitions in the spring.