First Minister Joins The Queen To Open New Bridge
4th September 2017
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today accompanied Her Majesty The Queen for the official opening of the Queensferry Crossing.
The event marked the culmination of six years work to build the structure, involving more than 15,000 people, at a cost of £1.35 billion - £245 million under the original budget.
Following a ribbon cutting ceremony on the south side of the bridge, undertaken by Her Majesty, The Queen was accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to an event on the north side where she unveiled a plaque officially declaring the Queensferry Crossing open.
This was followed a traditional folk performance by singer Karine Polwart, and the recital of a specially commissioned poem by Scotland's Makar, Jackie Kay.
Showcasing a wide range of Scottish talent, there were also performances by, among others, KT Tunstall and King Creosote. The Red Arrows performed two flypasts above the bridge - going from south to north and also east to west across all three bridges while a flotilla comprising around ninety craft sailed below.
Speaking at the event, the First Minister said:"This crossing is the tallest bridge in the UK. It has required 150,000 tonnes of concrete, 23,000 miles of steel cabling and 19 million hours of labour.
"But, far more important than those statistics are the benefits this bridge will bring. It will improve journey times, and bring benefits to families and businesses - not just in Fife and the Lothians, but across Scotland.
"It is already attracting global attention. Together, the three Forth bridges will bring people from around the world to admire their ingenuity and their beauty.
"It is an honour to have Her Majesty The Queen opening the new bridge for Scotland's communities, just as she she opened the Forth Road Bridge, linking Fife and the Lothians."