Corduroy Road Remains

4-14 Foster St Shop 4
    2010

Phone: +61 2 6200 0000

Corduroy Road Remains is a heritage-listed archaeological site at Toowoomba-Ipswich Road, Laidley, Lockyer Valley Region, Queensland, Australia. The site contains the remnants of the former main dray road between Ipswich and Drayton, which had been upgraded from a track to a corduroy (sand-covered log) road between the 1850s and 1860s, using grey ironbark logs (Eucalyptus drepanophylla).The road improved access to the Darling Downs, and was one of a number of works during that era aimed at creating a more trafficable route to the area. However, complaints about poor road conditions continued until the roads were sealed decades later. The remnants are buried below 100-200mm of soil, which has limited attempts to assess the condition or surviving length of the road. In the 1970s, the former Shire of Laidley proposed having the road surveyed and researched with a view to exposing a small section for public viewing; however, no action was taken. The site was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.HistoryIn the 19th century, the road between Ipswich and Drayton was one of the main roads of the Moreton Bay district. It was established in the 1840s as a bridle track between head stations, but soon became the principal route for wool drays and supplies, and by 1852 was listed by the New South Wales government as the only first-class road in the Moreton Bay area. Just four years earlier, however, it was described as being in a "wretched condition' and by 1859 very little had changed with the Darling Downs Gazette pointing out that "the road of Christian in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress was a bowling green" in comparison to the Ipswich to Drayton route. This was not a unique circumstance, with Queensland road networks in general described as "always bad and often impassable" in the Statistical Register of 1860. With a constant lack of money and a decentralized system of road administration it would be some time before conditions improved. Road construction was expensive and labour-intensive with no local authority to pay for or facilitate road building.

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