Highland Council has awarded an £8.5 million contract for the first phase of works to build flood defences on the River Ness to protect 800 homes and 200 businesses in Inverness.
The works between Ness Bridge and Friars Bridge will include streetscape features and public art.
Leading construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall will start work on the East Bank, on the city centre side, from mid-August with the West Bank (Huntly Street) commencing in October.
This will avoid major disruption in the run up to Christmas and during the second phase of the resurfacing of Kessock Bridge, taking place from February to July 2014.
A second phase of flood defence construction, due to go out to tender later this year, will continue the protection of homes and businesses from Friars Bridge to the river mouth.
The overall scheme is due for completion by the spring of 2015.
Morgan Sindall will present its detailed programme of works at a pre-construction Public Exhibition being held at the Town House, Inverness, on 26 July.
Project Sponsor Matt Smith, principal engineer in the council’s flood team, said: “Anyone with an interest in the Flood Scheme is welcome to drop in to the exhibition, but we are particularly keen for any businesses, organisations or individuals who feel they may be affected by this next phase of works to come along.
“This is their chance to meet the key personnel involved in taking the project forward and raise any issues they may have with the works.”
Neil Duncan, area director for Morgan Sindall, said: “We are delighted to be working on this major improvement to the city’s flood defences. Morgan Sindall has an office in the city from where our work will be managed, and we have extensive experience of working on similarly high-profile, ambitious schemes, such as the Inverness Campus project, where the Morgan