Get your thinking caps on!

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THE local community is to get the opportunity to choose a name for the new Forth Crossing.

While it is still early days in the bridge building process, Transport Minister Keith Brown has asked officials building the Forth Replacement Crossing project to begin the process for choosing a permanent name for the new bridge.

The news comes in the week that Transport Scotland officials are also preparing to submit a planning application for the FRC Contact and Education Centre which will see this important community engagement hub during construction combined with a new permanent national Traffic Control Centre.

Mr Brown outlined how the new Contact and Education Centre could play a part in allowing the public a key role in choosing the name for the new bridge, saying: “This government recognises that finding an appropriate name for the new bridge is a matter of considerable interest both locally and nationally. While we should remember that the Forth Replacement Crossing is the name of the project to deliver the bridge, not the name of the completed bridge, I would like to have an open and transparent process for deciding the name that allows all of Scotland to be involved.

“I have asked my officials to look at how to best co-ordinate a process for naming the new bridge in which the public can fully participate and the Contact and Education Centre will be a key channel for delivering this.

“Details of this process are likely to be announced during 2012 to allow a name to be chosen in time for the expected opening of the new bridge in 2016.”

The new Contact and Education Centre will see a purpose built, 1200 m2 dual-use facility developed on land adjacent to the Forth Road Bridge administration office at Queensferry at an estimated cost of around £3.8 million.

*A preferred bidder for the construction of the new crossing was also finalised this week with the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors (FCBC) consortium chosen following an 18 month competitive tendering process.

FCBC’s successful bid for the design and build contract is £100 million under budget at a cost of between £1.47 to £1.62 billion compared to the original estimates of between £1.7 to £2.3 billion.

What’s your name idea? Email editorial@journalandgazette. or write to 114 High Street, Linlithgow EH49 7AQ.