Only three MSPs opposed the scheme with 113 in favour meaning the project now goes forward to the next detailed stage of scrutiny at Holyrood.
Tenders are due in later this year with work expected to start in 2011 ahead of a completion date of 2016.
The backing came despite figures published by Friends of the Earth yesterday claiming the new bridge will cost every taxpayer in Scotland £780.
Friends of the Earth Scotland chief executive Duncan McLaren, said: “We think it is irresponsible in those circumstances to commit £2 billion to a new bridge, when the evidence suggests the old one can be repaired at a fraction of the cost, with no greater disruption to traffic.”
Two consortia are in the hunt for the main bridge project.
The Forthspan consortium – which comprises Morgan Est, Bam Nuttall, Balfour Beatty and Vinci Construction Grands Projets – is up against a joint venture of Hochtief, Morrison Construction, Spanish firm ACS and US contractor American Bridge.