Ground work is expected to start on a notorious A90 north-east junction.
Transport Scotland is planning to award a £300,000 contract to Allied Exploration and Geotechnics for the A90 Laurencekirk junction improvement scheme.
It is expected the ground investigation will start early next month and will take around eight weeks.
A preferred option for the improvement works was chosen by the government body last year.
It will see a flyover at the A937 over the A90 on a new bridge with a roundabout either side of the bridge.
A link road would provide replacement access to Johnston Lodge and Johnston Mains from the eastern roundabout.
The centre and north junctions at Laurencekirk from the A90 will remain open.
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Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, said: “Having let the public see and comment on the preferred option for the much-needed Laurencekirk junction improvement scheme last summer, we continue to push forward with the design of the preferred option in greater detail with a view to publishing draft orders for the scheme later in 2019.
“These ground investigations due to get under way next month will provide the detailed information needed to help inform the ongoing development and assessment of the preferred option.
“When completed, the scheme will help reduce accidents and delays by preventing traffic turning or crossing at the busy A90 junction to the south of the town. As well as grade-separating the junction, the scheme will also improve safety and accessibility for all active travel users.”
It is expected traffic measures will be put in place on the A90 when work begins.