Transport Scotland has signalled the start of ground work at a notorious junction in the Mearns.
The agency is set to award a £300,000 contract to Allied Exploration and Geotechnics Ltd for the project at Laurencekirk.
Work is expected to start in early May and expected to last for around eight weeks.
A preferred option for the A90 junction was announced last year.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson 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 underway 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.”
North East Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles welcomed news of the contract.
Mr Rumbles, who has been campaigning for safety improvements at the junction for more than a decade, said: “I’m pleased that work has finally begun to upgrade the dangerous junction linking Laurencekirk to the A90.
“It has been a long and hard fought campaign by local activists like Jill Fotheringham, who began the campaign in 2005. I will continue to press for this work to be carried out in good order and for construction to begin as soon as possible.”