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Next phase of design work to start this year.
Transport Scotland is to step up the design work on a new grade-separated junction at Laurencekirk on the A90 in Aberdeenshire this year.
Transport Scotland will now seek to appoint consultants to take forward the next phases of design for the junction upgrade including route option assessment and the development of preferred junction option, leading to the preparation of draft road Orders.
A meeting of the Partnership Group comprising Aberdeenshire and Angus Councils, Nestrans along with Transport Scotland is to be held shortly to discuss the programme for the design work and to consider issues such as developer contributions for the scheme.
Transport Minister, Derek Mackay said:
"We recently announced £24 million for the design and construction of a new grade-separated junction at Laurencekirk as part of Aberdeen's City Deal.
"We are committed to completing this important upgrade for the people of the north east as soon as possible and Transport Scotland will now seek to appoint consultants and get on with designing the scheme.
"We have been working hard with the two local authorities and Nestrans to deliver this much-needed scheme for the people of the north east as soon as possible and my officials will shortly be meeting with our partners to discuss plans and provide an update on the joint actions agreed.
"There is still a lot of development work to be carried out and we will continue to work together with our partners to deliver this scheme as soon as possible bringing improved road safety and economic benefits to road users and the local community in Laurencekirk and the north Angus area.
"The planned improvements at Laurencekirk add to our already impressive transport infrastructure investment portfolio in the north east which includes the £745 million Aberdeen bypass, £170m improvements to the Aberdeen-Inverness rail line, improved road access on the A96 at Inveramsay Bridge which recently opened to traffic, dualling the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness, and preparation work to remove the notorious bottleneck at Haudagain roundabout."