The Queensferry Crossing will open up to six months late, economy secretary Keith Brown announced today (Wednesday).
Mr Brown confirmed reports the bridge would not be completed on schedule by the end of the year because of bad weather hampering construction.
He said it would be finished within the contractual completion date of June 2017- six months after the “target” opening date of December.
Mr Brown said: “The contractor, Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors, has advised Transport Scotland that due to adverse weather conditions in April and May exceeding expectations and resulting in an increase in days lost to weather, they are unable to achieve the target opening date of December 2016 - which is six months ahead of the contractual completion date.
“The contractors remain on schedule to complete the project ahead of the contractual completion date.”
Mr Brown is due to make a statement to MSPs this afternoon.
The setback has come despite a one-year contingency being included in the five-year construction project to allow for bad weather.