Advance works contracts are set to be handed out for a major section of the A9 dualling programme.
Transport Scotland has started a multi-supplier framework agreement for the £3bn project which covers 129km.
The first contract will start within weeks when demolition works on the Luncarty to Pass of Burnam scheme will be carried out by Perth civil engineering company I&H Brown Ltd.
The next contract – planned to be awarded for May – will be for tree clearance along the same route.
These advance works will help reduce delays to the construction programme, which should start within three months.
Economy secretary Keith Brown said: “It’s great to see a locally-based SME securing contracts for these preliminary works on the next section of the A9 Dualling Programme.
“We are working diligently towards our ambitious target of having dual-carriageway introduced to the A9 between Perth and Inverness by 2025.
“As each section of road is finished, we are opening up Scotland for trade and tourism, which is helping to strengthen our economy.”
AOC Archaeology Group, which was awarded the £500,000 contract in January, has completed its first ground investigations and will continue to excavate key areas.