Blackstaff River

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The open end of a river culvert in the bank of a much wider river, with office buildings and development visible above the waterside.
The Blackstaff emerges from a culvert at the confluence with the Lagan.

The Blackstaff River is a watercourse that flows along the M1 motorway and then through a series of piped sections under Belfast, discharging into the River Lagan.

The Blackstaff is known as a "Designated Watercourse" and is controlled and maintained by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's Rivers Agency. It has been cited as a main contributor to the high flood risk in central and low-lying areas of Belfast.[1] In particular on 16 August 2008, a newly opened underpass carrying the M1 motorway onto the A12 Westlink controversially flooded to a depth of 20 feet (6.1 m)[2] during heavy rain with water from the culverted Blackstaff and Clowney Rivers.[3]


  1. ^ "Locations at significant risk (Greater Belfast Sub Plan)". Greater Belfast pilot study. Rivers Agency. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Widespread chaos caused by floods". BBC News Online. 16 August 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  3. ^ (PDF) Broadway Underpass – Westlink, Belfast:Independent Report into the Flooding Incident on 16 August 2008 (Report). Amey Consulting. October 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2012.

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Coordinates: 54°34′51″N 5°57′48″W / 54.58074°N 5.96326°W / 54.58074; -5.96326