The latest updates on Blackhead Path works.
|Update 15 May 2019||
Blackhead Path works to start
Multi-million pounds works to restore and protect Blackhead Path are set to get underway in June.
The project will see repair works carried out in stages over the next year to allow the thousands of visitors who enjoy this area each year, to explore the entire path in all its glory.
The contractor, FP McCann, has been appointed to complete the works. AECOM have also been integral to the plans which include repairs along the coastal paths from the Old Castle Road right up to the lighthouse and new steps and handrails.
Work to restore the Golden Steps was completed earlier this year and two new community noticeboards have been erected in Whitehead for information on the progress to be shared with locals and visitors alike. These are located near the path car park and outside the Whitehead Community Association.
Read the full story in our news section.
|Update 9 April 2019||
Following the tendering process, which was extended by 2 weeks after the applicants requested more time, an award letter has been issued to a contractor for acceptance. Meetings are due to take place with the contractor this week to confirm work schedules and start date for works. Council has continued to carry out environmental licensing and access work with relevant organisations and residents. Repairs to the upper path and Golden Steps have been completed. Noticeboards are nearly finished production and will be installed in the coming weeks with full information displayed on them about the works. Local businesses in the Whitehead area have been delivered 3000 pocket guides detailing the works involved to get the path reopened.
|Update 13 February 2019||
DAERA recently carried out a ‘Baseline Study and Gap Analysis of Coastal Erosion in Northern Ireland’ which was jointly commissioned with the Department for Infrastructure. The study was designed to identify key issues to inform consideration of the way forward in the area of coastal erosion. For more information visit our news section.
|Update 8 February 2019||
The tendering process is now underway for works to repair Blackhead Path. We are now awaiting submissions from a number of contractors. Once received and marked, we can appoint the successful company by April for work to begin.
The path from the Golden Steps to McCrea’s Brae is a public right of way on foot.
We would urge the public to pay attention to the safety signs in place due to continued rock fall. We appreciate your patience.
Plans of the upcoming works will be given to local businesses and residents in the coming weeks to keep them all informed.
|Update 7 February 2019||
Work to the Golden Steps is now complete.
|Update 7 December 2018||
Planning permission has now been granted for works on Blackhead Path. View the full story on our news pages.
A list of contractors who passed the first stage of the appointment process is now being drawn up for the tender to go live in January. Work to restore the Golden Steps has started and should be completed by the New Year.
The recent bad weather saw more rockfall along the path, further movement of 30mm and complete collapse of the bridge on the upper section. New fencing and signs highlighting the dangers of the collapsing path area are now in place to prevent the public from getting on to the dangerous areas. We would urge the public to pay attention to these signs as safety is paramount. We appreciate your patience.
Council are also pulling together plans of the upcoming works to give out to local businesses and residents to keep them all informed.
|Update 5 December 2018||
Work is well underway on the Golden Steps. The contractor is aiming for these to be completed by the end of December. Thanks to Blackhead Preservation Society for sharing the images.
|Update 29 November 2018||
A contractor for work to fix the Golden Steps has been appointed and is due on site on 28 November. It’s hoped that work will be completed by Christmas if the weather calms down. The main contractor for the overall works is yet to be appointed but it’s hoped that planning permissions and licensing will come through in the new year in time for work to start in the Spring for the entire path. New fencing is going in to help restrict access to only the residents along the section which is failing. In the bad weather (Storm Diana) further rock fall has happened as well as the 30cm movement so please don’t disregard the signs and fencing in place, it is for your safety.
Council are working with The Blackhead Preservation Society to help promote lots of exciting events happening in the beautiful coastal town of Whitehead, and beyond, before the path reopens again to its hundreds of thousands of visitors. Parts are still closed, as the path has moved 30cm in the past year, so please keep that in mind if you’re planning a trip to Whitehead. Council are launching a marketing campaign in the New Year to highlight what’s happening with the works and to promote the area.
|Update 15 October 2018||
The first stage of procuring a contractor for Blackhead Path is underway.
|Update 14 September 2018||
Video presentation from the public meeting on Blackhead Path
|Update: 17 August 2018||
Latest update from the structural engineer's report:
|Update - 16 August 2018||
Press Release issued: Council warning walkers not to ignore Blackhead Path signs
|Update - 9 August 2018||
Thursday 23 August 2018 at 7.30pm in Whitehead Methodist Church Hall (on the corner of Balmoral Avenue and Edward Road).
|Update - 6 August 2018||
A section of Blackhead Path has been closed from Whitehead Car Park to the Old Castle Road. This is due to serious safety concerns caused by subsidence. Experts have advised council that further subsidence has been identified along the path, and left us with no choice other than to prevent access to that part of the route until further notice. The additional damage may have been caused by extreme weather which hit Northern Ireland last weekend – resulting in a month of rainfall landing in the space of several hours on Saturday. The path has moved 30cms in the last year and, more significantly, 17cms in the last month. Large cracks along the path wall have also been identified, indicating likely structural failure of the concrete wall and possible collapse.
The path was previously closed to vehicles and the latest move is to safeguard pedestrians. Substantial funding has already been set aside by council for major investment works at Blackhead Path. Council is currently engaged with a project team to design and oversee those remedial works and the repairs began earlier this year, with plans to resolve the issue being put together over the coming months.