Council chiefs have struck a £1.4 million deal for work which could pave the way for a new Tay crossing.
Balfour Beatty has been awarded the contract for ground investigation at the site earmarked for the new £113m bridge.
A Perth and Kinross Council spokesman said: “A ground investigation is required to establish the existing ground conditions in the location of the Cross Tay Link Road and allow the design to progress.”
The project will create a third road crossing over the River Tay in Perth, which will enable the local authority to fulfil the aims of its development plan, improve air quality and reduce congestion.
Design of the Cross Tay Link Road is due to be completed in mid-2019, with a planning application for the crossing submitted later that year.
If approved, construction would start in 2021 with the structure expected to be completed in 2023.