Balfour Beatty Secures £184.7 Million A9 Contract

Credit: Ashleigh Robertson Unsplash

The Scottish Government has announced its intention to award Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd a £184.7 million contract for dualling the A9 between Tomatin and Moy.

This marks a significant step in the A9 Dualling Programme, which aims to upgrade the road between Perth and Inverness by 2035.

The project will upgrade 9.6km (6 miles) of single carriageway to dual carriageway, creating approximately 33km (20 miles) of continuous dual carriageway between Inverness and Slochd.

The contract is expected to be officially awarded in the coming weeks, following a mandatory standstill period.

This announcement follows a re-tendering process that began earlier in 2023, after the initial procurement in 2021 was scrapped due to receiving only one bid that was significantly over budget.

Transport Scotland has since implemented changes to its contract strategy, including adopting a different contract form with a more balanced risk-sharing approach between the contractor and Scottish ministers.

Project Benefits

The project will bring numerous benefits to the region, including improved safety and efficiency for road users, enhanced connectivity for Highland communities and businesses, and over 10km (6.2 miles) of improvements to active travel routes.

Additionally, it will provide better connections to public transport. This development represents a crucial step in the Scottish Government’s commitment to improving the A9, a vital transport link for the Highlands and Islands, supporting economic growth and enhancing infrastructure in the region.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport Fiona Hyslop said:  “I am pleased to announce our intention to award the contract for Tomatin to Moy to Balfour Beatty.

“Once work starts on Tomatin to Moy, it will not stop until dualling between Perth and Inverness is complete.

“The award of this contract for A9 Dualling: Tomatin to Moy will start our rolling programme of construction to dual the A9 between Perth and Inverness and reinforces our steadfast commitment to deliver on our plan.

“Major transport infrastructure supports the local community and businesses, providing jobs and delivering economic growth throughout the project and beyond.

“It has been fantastic to see the impact contractors working on the advance works have already brought to the local community, and I look forward to delivering further benefits to local businesses and communities through our investment in the construction of this section.”

Advance Works

The contract for dualling the A9 between Tomatin and Moy builds upon successful preparatory works completed in 2021 and 2022. These advanced projects included:

  1. Replacing the Lynebeg Underbridge on the Highland Main Line railway
  2. Creating an ecological pond to relocate a rare fly species
  3. Upgrading active travel and public transport infrastructure
  4. Conducting archaeological investigations
  5. Engaging in educational outreach with local schools

These preliminary efforts have already yielded benefits for the community.

Students from Grantown Grammar and nearby primary schools participated in archaeology workshops, gaining hands-on experience.

Additionally, the contractor provided valuable opportunities for local youth and businesses, including work placements, apprenticeships, and contracts for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Future Impact

The main dualling works, to be carried out by Balfour Beatty Civil Engineering Ltd, will continue to support the local economy and community.

By improving this crucial section of the A9, the project aims to enhance access to and from the Highlands, which is expected to benefit:

  • Local businesses
  • The tourism industry
  • Community connectivity
  • Active travel options for residents and visitors

This development represents an important step in improving transportation links between Perth and Inverness, supporting economic growth and enhancing safety for travellers in the region.

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