Queensferry Crossing savings to bring forward A9 work
The first of twelve schemes in the £3 billion A9 dualling programme has been brought forward today and a contract worth around £50 million put to the market.
Anticipated savings from the Queensferry Crossing programme, along with the progress of the statutory order making process for the Kincraig to Dalraddy scheme, enables work on this, the first of twelve major dualling schemes on the A9, to start six months early.
The Queensferry Crossing is expected to cost up to £1.45bn, while in 2011 the figure was up to £1.6bn.
The road between Inverness and Perth is to be made dual carriageway by 2025.
Speaking from the A9 at Kincraig, Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The Scottish Government’s track record in delivering transport infrastructure schemes speaks for itself, and I want to take the record forward into our most ambitious programme of work to date. Dualling the A9 between Perth and Inverness is a huge challenge – some 80 miles of upgraded road, but we are determined to make early wins.
“As the Queensferry Crossing rises out of the Forth estuary, we are anticipating more savings being realised next year from the project’s contingencies, allowing us to unlock investment for the A9 dualling scheme now.
“With that investment identified and the progress in making statutory orders for the five mile long Kincraig-Dalraddy scheme, I have given the go-ahead to get procurement underway. The process to select a contractor begins today with the publication of a contract notice worth around £50m allowing us to be in a position to award the contract and put the first spade in the ground next summer, around six months earlier than originally timetabled.
“I have always said that we will bring forward the start of construction on the A9 where we can, and today we are delivering on that promise. In addition, only last week we awarded the second of three major design contracts, together worth in total up to £180m, to get more essential preparatory work under way. And short term programmes of work to address safety issues on the A9 are continuing with the installation of average speed cameras between Perth and Inverness nearing completion, with their implementation on course for October.
“I am determined to drive forward improvements to Scotland’s longest and arguably most important trunk road, and am pressing everyone working on the A9 – both short and long term programmes, to get on and deliver early benefits to users of the road as soon as is practicably possible.”
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney, who joined Mr Brown on site added: “We know major infrastructure supports Scotland’s sustainable economic growth which is why we have focussed efforts where the greatest effects can be felt.
“Here on the A9, the longest trunk road in Scotland, the twelve major pieces of transport infrastructure to be delivered as part of the dualling programme will benefit not only road users, but support local jobs and businesses and deliver economic growth through the life of the programme, and beyond.
“The ground investigation work alone under way here at Kincraig is supporting over 30 jobs, with more to come when full construction begins next year. Communities and businesses here and along the length of the route can look forward to feeling all of the benefits of this investment as we press ahead in delivering the full dualling programme.”