Highways England has also awarded an Amey/Arup joint venture team the design contract for dualling sections of single carriageway on the 50-mile route between Penrith and Scotch Corner.
The £1bn project will include five new bypasses, key junction improvements and an underpass at the congested Kemplay Bank roundabout near Penrith.
- Northern bypass of a three-mile section between Penrith and Temple Sowerby
- Northern bypass option for Kirkby Thore
- Most northerly of two options bypassing Crackenthorpe
- Dual a five-mile section between Appleby and Brough alongside the existing section of single carriageway
- Dualling a 1.9-mile section of the route north of Bowes
- A bypass south of the Old Rectory between Cross Lane and Rokeby
- Most northerly of three bypass options linking sections of existing dual carriageway between Stephen Bank and Carkin Moor
The proposals also include significant improvements to the existing junctions between Barnard Castle and the A66 at Bowes and Rokeby.
These will improve safety at the two junctions and make for safer, smoother journeys for HGVs.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Upgrading this vital national link will not only level up infrastructure in the region but will deliver benefits up and down the country – supporting tourism and movement between our key ports.”
Under the present project timeline construction will start in 2024/5