A FURTHER 18 miles of the A9 will be ready for conversion to dual carriageway in 2017 but the overall completion date for the project remains 2025, transport minister Keith Brown announced today.
Mr Brown also revealed that the new dual carriageway sections between Perth and Inverness will now be built solely within the 200-metre-wide A9 corridor and not on separate land, following community concerns.
The minister said the necessary preparatory work for the next three sections of the £3 billion scheme would be completed within two years.
The seven-mile section between Pitagowan near House of Bruar and Glengarry, the five-mile Dalwhinnie-Crubenmore stretch, and the six-mile Tomatin-Moy section will be ready for dualling in 2017, said Mr Brown.
Fraser Grieve, Highlands and Islands director of economic development group Scottish Council Development and Industry, said: “Today’s announcement of changes to how the upgrade will be delivered resulting in three schemes being brought forward is a welcome step which will help to deliver much-needed improvement both in journey time and safety along this vital transport artery.”
Work on the five-mile stretch between Kincraig and Dalraddy, south of Aviemore, will precede the three developments, beginning in 2015-16.
Mr Brown said: “We have pledged to bring forward elements of the scheme wherever we can and we are delivering on that.”
He said the moves would help the Scottish Government meet its pledge to complete more than half of the scheme by 2022.
He added that a blueprint to minimise the project’s impact on the environment, Fitting Landscapes, would be published today.