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New £96m dual section of the A9 to open next week

By Gavin Musgrove

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Opening to traffic - the new A9 dualling from Luncarty to Pass of Birnam showing the Stanley Tullybelton junction.
Opening to traffic - the new A9 dualling from Luncarty to Pass of Birnam showing the Stanley Tullybelton junction.

A new dualled section of the A9 Inverness-Perth road is to open at the start of next week which will improve journey times from the strath to the Central Belt.

Transport Minister Graeme Dey has announced the opening of the £96 million section between Luncarty and Pass of Birnam.

All traffic management including lane and speed restrictions will be removed in a phased manner this weekend allowing road users access to the 9.5 km of new dual carriageway north of Perth from next Monday (August 30).

The widening of this stretch of single carriageway is just the second section of the A9 dualling programme to be completed as part of the Scottish Government’s ambitious £3 billion commitment to dual 129 kilometres of the A9 between Perth and Inverness.

The only other section in operation is the Dalraddy-Kincraig section in the strath.

The opening of this latest section to four lanes of traffic, the most southerly section of the dualling programme, now provides 15 km of continuous dual carriageway from Inveralmond Roundabout to Birnam for the first time.

Mr Dey, said: “I’m thrilled we’ve reached this most important milestone on the Luncarty to Pass of Birnam project.

"When the new section of road opens fully, it will bring tremendous benefits - improving connectivity between the Highlands and Islands and Scotland’s Central Belt, delivering far reaching benefits to the wider Scottish economy."

The construction works to dual the existing 9.5 km of single carriageway north of Perth began in earnest in February 2019.

The project involved the construction of four new bridges over the A9 and the removal of all direct accesses to the A9 carriageway.

Approximately four kilometres of new and upgraded pedestrian, equestrian and cycle routes have been created too.

Alan Brisbane, contract manager for Balfour Beatty, said: “We are extremely proud to have delivered this major infrastructure milestone for Scotland, which will not only stimulate the local economy, but also improve safety and reliability for road users.

“Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, our expert team remained focused throughout, with our attention now turning to landscaping and associated works, in the coming months.

“I would like to thank road users and local residents for their continued patience over the past three years and I look forward to seeing the wide-ranging benefits of the scheme being enjoyed for many years to come.”

Over the next few months, Balfour Beatty will continue to undertake finishing and landscaping works, which may on occasion require some traffic management to allow works to be undertaken safely.

This part of project is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

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