Third and final A9 road dualling project contract awarded
Joint venture Atkins/Mouchel has secured the last of three design contracts in the project to upgrade the A9 to a dual carriageway.
The £40m contract involves design work for the road between Tomatin and Moy and the Slochd Summit to Dalraddy.
The two other contracts were awarded earlier this year.
The Scottish government said the design work would create graduate, apprenticeship and students positions for almost 40 people.
It said further opportunities would be created during the overall project to upgrade the route between Inverness and Perth.
Engineering firm Atkins will work with infrastructure group Mouchel on designing dual carriageway for a Highland stretch of the route.
Earlier this year, the contract for the A9 between Glen Garry and the Pass of Birnam was awarded to engineering firm Jacobs.
CH2MHill/Fairhurst, another joint venture, is working on the Glen Garry to Dalraddy contract.
The Scottish government has committed to dualling the Perth to Inverness route - the longest trunk road in the country - by 2025.
Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Secretary Keith Brown described upgrading the road as a "mammoth project".
He added: "The programme is also securing jobs here in Scotland and opening up new opportunities for our young people looking to start their careers.
"A dedicated workforce based in Scotland of more than 200 are now working on the many complex strands of the A9 dualling design programme, with the team expected to expand again soon.
"This has allowed us to secure graduate, apprenticeship and students positions for nearly 40 young people to ensure they gain steady work and valuable job experience - with more of these opportunities for young people to come in the very near future."