Queensferry Crossing to welcome first vehicles on Wednesday at public opening
Construction work started in 2011.
The first vehicles will take to the Queensferry Crossing on Wednesday morning as it opens to the public.
On Monday night a collection of vintage, modern and electric vehicles drove on the bridge in a procession to mark the symbolic handover from contractors to the Scottish Government.
It was followed by a light show across the £1.35 billion bridge to celebrate the completion of the biggest infrastructure project in Scotland in a generation.
Construction work started in 2011 and motorists will finally be able to use the bridge in the early hours of Wednesday, with police diverting traffic from the Forth road bridge (FRB) over the Queensferry Crossing.
In the early hours of Friday, the new bridge will be closed again to prepare for a public walk on the crossing and a royal visit from the Queen on Monday.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon took part in the procession on Monday night and thanked workers for their efforts.
Other guests at the handover ceremony included veteran workers who helped build the FRB, local schoolchildren and contractors to celebrate the “past, present and future” of engineering across the Firth of Forth.
After a short speech under the bridge’s north tower, Ms Sturgeon started the light display.
She said: “I can’t tell you how emotional it feels to be standing on this stunning Queensferry Crossing.
“It is here to do a job and keep our country connected but it is much more than that.
“This bridge will be one of the greatest bridges in the world, no scrub that, this bridge is the greatest bridge in the world.”
The Queensferry Crossing— Queensferry Crossing (@NewForthBridge) August 28, 2017
- tallest bridge in the U.K.
- towers are 208m high
- longest freestanding balanced cantilever in the world pic.twitter.com/W99O6GciRu
Ms Sturgeon shook the hands of workers and took selfies with the light show shining on the bridge.
She added: “What you have done here is something very special. It is in every way an amazing achievement and I want to congratulate everyone involved.
“The weather in the middle of the Forth has made sure it was a challenge but you have made history and this bridge will serve Scotland for 150 years and more.”
Alex Porteous worked on the construction of the FRB until 1964 and was among the first group of guests to be driven on to the Queensferry Crossing on Monday night.
The 71-year-old said: “It’s amazing to see another bridge built in my lifetime.
“We knew in the 1960s that the Forth road bridge would eventually be out of date but I didn’t think I’d see another bridge built here. It brings back a lot of memories of my time working and it’s touching to be involved in this opening.”
The 1.7-mile crossing has a design life of 120 years but could last longer as it has been ”designed for maintenance” to ensure it runs smoothly for decades.
To avoid closures the FRB has faced in bad weather, wind barriers have been installed along the Queensferry Crossing which can withstand the strongest gusts.
About 1,000 sensors have been fitted to give advanced warning of any problems, allowing maintenance teams to pre-empt potential issues.