Work is finally set to begin on the Bennerley Viaduct in Awsworth to turn it into a cycle path and walkway.
Following several recent meetings, partners have agreed to carry out some initial works on the site with the aim of subsequently having a projecty approved by the owners.
Initial work will include critical repairs to the structure, the creation of a path and the enhancement of the area underneath the viaduct, the construction of a ramp at the western end, steps at the eastern end and the installation of decking.
The results of this work will then be submitted to the owners Railway Paths Limited to seek approval for the implementation of a project.
Several meetings have taken place over the last few months between the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct, Railway Paths and sustainable transport charity Sustrans.
Chair of the friends group Jeff Wynch said: “We have recently held a productive meeting to start the process of identifying possible options for a project, or projects, to achieve the aim of opening up the viaduct for public access and creating a link across it between the Erewash and Nottingham canals.
“All three organisations remain committed to seeing the viaduct brought back into use as a walking and cycling route, but recognise that this may take a number of years and that it will need to be achieved in an incremental way depending on the availability of suitable funding.
“Over the next few months the partners will explore the options that were tabled at the workshop, and assess their feasibility.
“These options include repairs to the structure, the creation of a path and the enhancement of the area underneath the viaduct, the construction of a ramp, steps and the installation of decking.
“The results of this work will then be submitted to Railway Paths and Sustrans Executive to seek approval for the implementation of a project,” he said.
Sustrans made a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund last year to transform the viaduct. It was refused, and they decided against a second bid worried about the financial burden of the project. Responsibility was then passed to owners Railway Paths.