Keith Brown has officially opened the upgraded junction 1a on the M9 motorway.
The £25.6 million 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.
Mr Brown said: "I am delighted to formally open this upgraded junction two months early and some £20 million under the original budget before the contract was let.
"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.
"The entire Forth Replacement Crossing scheme comprises nearly 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."
The new junction was opened just after nominations for the name of the new bridge closed. By last night around 7,600 unique suggestions had been made, with Mr Brown saying the naming process "clearly captured the public imagination in a big way".
The minister said: "It is important the people of Scotland have their say in naming their new bridge, and I'm delighted to see the incredible level of interest that's been shown. I look forward to the next phase when the independent advisory panel will begin the process of agreeing a shortlist for the public to vote on."