The Queensferry Crossing is to be officially opened by the Queen next month - 53 years to the day since she opened the Forth Road Bridge.
The ceremony, which takes place on Monday, September 4 will see activities on both sides of the bridge.
They will include a welcome address by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, a blessing by the Moderator of General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and a specially commissioned poem read by Scotland’s Makar, Liz Lochead.
Live performances showcasing a cross-section of Scotland’s rich musical talent will also feature.
The new bridge opens to traffic for the first time on August 30, prior to closing on September 2-3 for the Queensferry Crossing Experience, when 50,000 members of the public have the unique opportunity to walk across the bridge – following a ballot that attracted almost 250,000 entries.
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. From September 6 onwards the bridge will re-open to traffic with no pedestrian access.
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 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.”
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, 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.
“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.”