Midlothian Council apologises for the continued closure of the Ironmills steps in Dalkeith.
The steps from Cemetery Road to the Ironmills Park have been closed since January 2016 because of landslip problems.
Since the installation of a larch retaining wall and the netting and pinning work, completed last November, there has been little movement on the slope. The slope also appears to have been moderately dry.
Still experiencing issues
However, we are still experiencing issues of materials running off the area above the cliff face. We believed a water outflow on the slope, appearing from below the retaining wall, may have been contributing to this material run off.
Council staff dug out an area at the top of the slope down to 2-3 metres to ascertain whether this problem was indeed being caused by a water flow. Several weeks after this work was undertaken a water flow, equivalent to a couple of hose pipes, materialised.
It is believed that the water source is welling up from 4 metres down as the only water found when test bores were undertaken during initial site investigations was at this depth.
The Council is now exploring ways to manage this water source using modular plastic cells/crates and piping the outflow to the adjacent river.
Managing this water source is essential in securing the long term stability of the slope and the reopening of the route.
Discussions with consultants underway
Scottish Water have also checked the entire local network for leaks from the water mains and the sewage system in the vicinity. No leaks have been reported.
The Council’s structures team are now producing a design for wooden steps and railing to reconnect the existing steps with the path adjacent to the larch wall.
Discussions around finalising and pricing these plans are now underway with consultants.