Published Saturday, 25 June 2011
The pathway over the River Foyle runs from behind the Guildhall Square on to the Parade Ground in the former Ebrington Barracks creating an important new link from the Waterside to the city side.
It cost £13.4m and took a year and a half to build and hundreds of schoolchildren gathered on the bridge on Saturday to sing at the official opening.
It was opened to the public by EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn and Taoiseach Enda Kenny was also present, alongside the First and deputy First Ministers.
Peter Robinson said the bridge was a "significant piece of infrastructure" for the city:
"The bridge encourages the creation of a larger city - a shared city, a welcoming city, a city that is moving forward with a very real sense of pride, an abundance of talent and a lot of confidence and hope for the future.
"The Peace Bridge has a significant role to play as one of our most valuable cultural assets, promising to draw tourists in huge numbers that will guarantee economic benefits."
Construction work on the 235m long, four meter wide bridge began in January 2010 as part of the city's regeneration programme, with funding from Europe.
It illuminates at night, allows leisure craft to pass safely at high tide and provides pedestrian and cycle access from the Cityside to the regenerated Ebrington site and St Columb's Park.
The opening will be followed by the switching on of 'Mute Meadow', a new public artwork which features a field of steel columns arranged in pairs along the waterfront.
Martin McGuinness was joined at the event by the Social Development Minister, Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure and OFMDFM Junior Minister Martina Anderson.
He emphasised that moving forward needs to be a unified process.
"Change cannot happen without the full support of us all," said Mr McGuinness.
"So it is up to you, me, my colleagues in the Executive and the Assembly to continue to work positively together to build upon the good work that has already been done -recognising that differences still exist but respecting those differences.
Also speaking at the event the Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland added: "Over time the bridge will become an iconic representation that will define this city.
"Physically and metaphorically it links what now are two communities and we hope will encourage greater levels of positive engagement between them.
"It represents our aspirations to work towards a shared and welcoming city that everyone in the community enjoys and can feel welcome in."
© UTV News