Atkins / Mouchel JV wins third and final A9 road dualling contract

A joint venture of Atkins and Mouchel has secured the last of three design contracts in the project to upgrade the A9 to a dual carriageway.

The £40 million contract involves design work for the road between Dalraddy and Inverness.

Earlier this year, the contract for the A9 between Glen Garry and the Pass of Birnam, valued at up to £60m, was awarded to engineering firm Jacobs. CH2MHill/Fairhurst is working on the Glen Garry to Dalraddy contract.

The Scottish Government has committed to dualling the Perth to Inverness route - the longest trunk road in the country - by 2025.

Announcing the deal, cabinet secretary for infrastructure, investment and cities Keith Brown said nearly 40 jobs for young people are being provided with more on the way.

He said all three design contracts, worth around £120 million in total, are providing full-time and placement opportunities for apprentices, work experience students and graduates.

Speaking alongside some young people already benefitting from the multi-million design contracts, Mr Brown said: “The appointment of the final design contractor for the mammoth A9 dualling project marks another significant milestone. The £120m we are investing in its detailed design, coupled with the start of construction on the first section to be dualled expected next summer, underlines our determination to deliver the entire 80-mile dualling programme by 2025.

“The programme is also securing jobs here in Scotland and opening up new opportunities for our young people looking to start their careers. A dedicated workforce based in Scotland of more than 200 are now working on the many complex strands of the A9 dualling design programme, with the team expected to expand again soon. This has allowed us to secure graduate, apprenticeship and students positions for nearly 40 young people to ensure they gain steady work and valuable job experience - with more of these opportunities for young people to come in the very near future.

“These contracts and the sub-contracting work which will flow from them, and the number of apprentices, work experience students and graduates already benefitting from the dualling programme, reinforces how vital our investment in infrastructure is in providing new job opportunities for Scotland’s young people.

“I want to see more of this kind of investment and this vital project, one of the Scottish Government’s biggest, will not only improve links from central Scotland to the Highlands and Islands, but open the door to more of Scotland’s young people looking to get on the jobs ladder and help them move up in their careers.”

David Allen, graduate civil engineer with CH2M HILL/Fairhurst Joint Venture said: “It’s great to be working on such an important, landmark project so early in my career and am currently working on the design development of junctions, looking at options and potential layouts.

“My involvement in the A9 will be hugely beneficial for my professional development and as a young engineer trained and working in Scotland, it has provided me with a great start to my career, enabling me to work on a project of national significance.”

Craig Ritchie, Jacobs graduate engineer added: “I decided to apply for a place with Jacobs on their Graduate Development Programme at the end of my course because it would give me the opportunity to develop my engineering skills within a company that is focused on safety.

“I joined Jacobs recently and since then I’ve been fully engaged as part of the A9 dualling programme. I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities provided by the project over the next few years.”

Subject to the mandatory standstill period the Atkins Mouchel joint venture will start work on the section of the route nearest to Inverness next month and will mobilise their workforce in the coming weeks.

This investment also complements other work being progressed on the ground to improve the safety and performance of the A9, with the average speed cameras on the A9 now up and running, as well as the introduction of the 50 mph HGV pilot.

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