Queensferry Crossing to be officially opened by The Queen

The Queensferry Crossing
The Queensferry Crossing
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The Queensferry Crossing will be officially opened by The Queen on September 4, exactly 53 years to the day she performed the same duty on the neighbouring Forth Road Bridge.

The ceremony will include a welcome address by the First Minister and a blessing by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

A view of the south approach of the Queensferry Crossing in February 3 2017. Work began on the bridge in 2011. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

A view of the south approach of the Queensferry Crossing in February 3 2017. Work began on the bridge in 2011. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The cable-stayed bridge will open to traffic on Wednesday, August 30, before closing on September 2 and 3 to allow 50,000 members of the public to walk across.

On September 5 an additional community day has been added, giving up to 10,000 more people from local schools and community groups on both sides of the Forth the chance to walk on the bridge.

It will mark the end of a six-year construction programme costing an estimated £1.35 billion to provide a third bridge across the Forth between North and South Queensferry.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is very fitting that the Queensferry Crossing will be officially opened by The Queen, exactly 53 years to the day from when she opened the Forth Road Bridge. Importantly, this celebratory event will recognise the thousands of people who have been involved in the construction of the new bridge.

The Queensferry Crossing under construction in June 2016. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA

The Queensferry Crossing under construction in June 2016. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA

“The Queensferry Crossing is a symbol of a confident, forward-looking Scotland and – as well as providing a vital transport connection for many years to come – it is a truly iconic structure and a feat of modern engineering.

“The Queensferry Crossing Experience attracted huge interest from across Scotland and beyond, demonstrating the widespread excitement and pride in the bridge. I am pleased that we are able to respond to that demand with an extra day being set aside for pedestrian access so that more people from the local area, particularly young people, can enjoy this historic occasion.”

Scotland is currently the country in the world to have three major bridges built in three different centuries in one location, making them a tourist attraction in their own right, said Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland.

He added: “Scotland will celebrate a moment in history on 4 September as the Queensferry Crossing is officially opened by HM The Queen. At this unique moment, the country will become the world’s first destination to have three bridges spanning three centuries in one stunning location. It is a time to not only celebrate Scotland as a nation of pioneering innovation, design and engineering, but also give thanks all those who have worked tirelessly to create this unique new structure.

An aerial view of the Forth Road Bridge in August 1964, shortly before its official opening. The neighbouring Forth Rail Bridge was opened in 1890. Picture: TSPL

An aerial view of the Forth Road Bridge in August 1964, shortly before its official opening. The neighbouring Forth Rail Bridge was opened in 1890. Picture: TSPL

“People are fascinated worldwide by bridges, whether it’s for their beauty, grandeur or breath-taking engineering prowess. The addition of the Queensferry Crossing consolidates the Forth Bridges as global icons of Scotland and we look forward to showcasing all three awe-inspiring structures to the world for many years to come.”

The bridge was originally scheduled to be completed in December 2016 but was delayed due to adverse weather conditions affecting construction.

“The Queensferry Crossing is one of the world’s great bridges,” Michael Martin, project director for the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) said in June.

“It’s the largest bridge of its type and its fast track design and construction has presented many challenges. The safety of our workforce, who have worked relentlessly through the hostile weather conditions in the Forth estuary to deliver the earliest completion of this project, has always been our number one priority and it will continue to be so as move towards the completion of the project.”

The Queen and Lord Provost Weatherstone at the opening of the Forth Road Bridge on September 4, 1964. Picture: TSPL

The Queen and Lord Provost Weatherstone at the opening of the Forth Road Bridge on September 4, 1964. Picture: TSPL