As a further sign of progress in delivering the Inverness to Nairn (including Nairn Bypass) scheme, ground investigations will get underway today.
Only six out of over 650 drilling locations along the route during the 20 week work period will require traffic management on the existing A96, keeping disruption to a minimum.
The work will provide vital ground condition information for engineers designing the new route.
Keith Brown Cabinet Secretary for infrastructure, Investment and Cities said:
“We are committed to dualling the whole of the A96 which links the northern cities of Inverness and Aberdeen. The work on this road scheme is moving apace with draft orders expected to be published later this year.
“Having recently let locals and road users see proposed changes to the preferred option for this scheme, we are now stepping up the work with ground investigations taking place along the route to help inform the final design. The work is essential but we want to avoid impact on road users where we can, so I am pleased the vast majority, over 99%, of the ground investigation work will take place away from the A96, ensuring the need for traffic management is kept to an absolute minimum.
“Hand in hand with this scheme, we are taking forward our plans for the 29 mile western section between Hardmuir and Fochabers with four well respected engineering consultancies or joint ventures in the running for the £50 million design contract. We hope to award this contract later this spring.
“With these plans for upgrading the route between Scotland’s two most northerly cities and our ambitious plans to dual the A9, we are working to connect Scotland’s cities, bringing safer and more reliable journeys for anyone travelling on these two major trunk roads.”