UK civil engineering and building contractor RJ MacLeod has won a contract to improve the road alignment along with an existing tight hairpin bend on the A9 in north-east Scotland.

The contract is part of the £9.6m Berriedale Braes project on the A9 and has been awarded by Transport Scotland.

Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity Michael Matheson said: “This is a particularly challenging stretch of the A9 to navigate and this investment will improve road safety, as well as minimise the need for vehicles to slow down or stop to negotiate the bend.

“The investment is also a positive development for the area, which will enhance the skills development of the Scottish construction industry, with approximately 60 jobs expected to be supported in the region during construction.

“Today’s announcement takes us closer to realising all of the benefits that this improvement will bring for road users in the north of Scotland.”

“This is a particularly challenging stretch of the A9 to navigate and this investment will improve road safety.”

Four companies were invited to bid for the £9m construction project. Alongside RJ McLeod (Contractors), the other parties involved were Morrison Construction, Roadbridge UK, and Wills Bros Civil Engineering.

Recently, Transport Scotland has awarded £49.5m contract to Farrans Construction to construct Haudagain Improvement scheme.

According to Transport Scotland, the contracts will strengthen the construction industry, and also provide community benefits such as apprenticeships, work placements and graduate positions.

Michael Matheson added: “Transport infrastructure is a key area where improving connectivity between our cities, rural communities and centres of economic activity is vital to boosting productivity and competitiveness.

“The contracts awarded this week, which are hot on the heels of the contract awarded for the next section of A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam project and the A737 improvement at the Den, will also be a welcome boost, providing opportunities for the construction industry.”