MSPs agreed to pass the
Forth Crossing Bill
by 108 votes to three on 15 December 2010.
The new transport minister Keith Brown said the plans to build the bridge were "absolutely vital to ensure Scotland's economic well-being".
He said: "The construction task itself will be huge. It will be the biggest single project in Scotland for a generation."
The aim of the bill is to grant Scottish ministers the necessary powers to construct a new road bridge over the Firth of Forth, adjacent to the existing Forth Road Bridge, along with new and upgraded connecting roads.
The Forth Crossing Bill Committee backed the plans for the £2bn bridge project.
The new crossing would be built by 2016, if approved by parliament, with construction beginning next year.