Design work to improve a dangerous junction on the A90 are to be taken forward this year.
Transport Scotland are set to appoint consultants to take forward the design work for upgrading the A90/A937 south junction at Laurencekirk.
The work will include the creation of a route option assessment while also developing a preferred junction option, leading to the preparation of draft road orders.
A meeting of the partnership group involving Aberdeenshire and Angus Councils, Nestrans and 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 to 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.”