Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Forth bridge project: M9 junction opened after upgrade

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Media captionSee the work which was carried out on upgrading a motorway junction on the M9

Roadworks that form a key part of the new Forth bridge project have been completed two months early and £20m under budget, according to Transport Minister Keith Brown.

He has officially opened the upgraded junction 1a on the M9 motorway.

The £25.6m junction is part of improved road connections associated with the new crossing.

It should also improve connections for drivers in the West Lothian and north-west Edinburgh areas.

'Vital project'

Mr Brown said: "I am delighted to formally open this upgraded junction two months early and some £20m under the original budget before the contract was let.

Image caption The £25.6m junction is part of improved road connections in the area

"Although a key part of the Forth Replacement Crossing project, it represents a significant improvement to Scotland's road network in its own right.

"Completing M9 junction 1a means drivers will now have much improved, motorway-standard connections between the current road bridge and the M9, improving accessibility to West Lothian and the traffic coming from the south and west via the M8."

He said the Forth crossing scheme included almost 14 miles of new or upgraded road.

"It was always more than just a bridge project and I'm delighted we have completed the road upgrades to the north and south of the Forth ahead of schedule so people can start to benefit from this vital project as early as possible," he said.

The new junction was opened just after nominations for the name of the new bridge closed.

Some 7,600 unique suggestions had been made by Thursday night, with Mr Brown saying that the naming process had "clearly captured the public imagination in a big way".

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