The original road to Sandgate from Albion, Brisbane, was that which was called the Sandgate Road and is now known as Bonney Avenue. It joined the road from Breakfast Creek opposite “Whytecliffe" in the suburb then known as Albion Park and continued through Jackson Street, Eagle Junction over the area between there and the eastern side of Kalinga Park to link up with the street known nowadays as Bage Street, Nundah.
This last named street passes Corpus Christi Church and continues down towards the triangular reserve in which the monument stands in memory of the pioneers of the Nundah district, then connects with present day New Sandgate Road and follows on the route of the original Sandgate Road.
In the early 1870's the necessity to re-route this original road (which was the main link with Sandgate and the farming district of Nudgee) was owing firstly to the very steep ascent and descent of that portion of the road at the end of Bage Street and secondly to the unsatisfactory lowness and tendency to frequent flooding and impassability of that stretch of road, between there and Eagle Junction.
The road was, of course, over the lower end of Kedron Brook which was crossed by fording the wagons loaded with farm produce and other traffic made the journey in a similar manner. When the water in the Brook was higher than usual, the wagons were unloaded, forded across and the produce was rowed over in punts and re-loaded and the journey resumed to Brisbane. The inconvenience, loss of time and the danger in the wet season all tended to furnish a good case for a higher and better road to be built.
A government road from the corner of the thoroughfare, now known as Bonney Avenue, had been formed as far as Gregory Street from the time of the original survey in 5 July 1862 and ran through the Rosaville Estate which the present day Clayfield streets viz. Montpelier, Wellington and Crombie Streets were later laid out from this area of land.
It will be noted that at Gregory Street the New Sandgate Road takes a sharp north easterly direction. Land for the purpose of providing a route for the continuation of the abovementioned government road, which was to become the New Sandgate Road was purchased from the following: William Widdop, Theodor Franz, J. G. Wagner, R. Curtis and Kate Falkner. The several title deeds were duly signed by them agreeing to, dispose and sub-divide their respective areas on 10 October 1877.
The new road (New Sandgate Road) was begun from the point of Gregory Street and passed unimpeded through Clayfield in a north easterly direction and on past where the Clayfield Railway Station now stands. At this time, the Sandgate Railway had not even been surveyed nor was it built for a decade later.
No other means of communication to Sandgate, Nudgee and the intervening and surrounding districts existed except by road, or by the lengthy river and sea journey. However, this early freedom from that anathema of traffic, whether it be ancient or modern, the opening and closing of railway gates at the Clayfield Railway crossing began on the opening day of the line from Eagle Junction to Racecourse Station (later called Ascot Station) on 3 September 1890 and continued until the recently completed overpass was used for the first time on 20 July 1958. Verily, as every hour has its end, so the railway gates at the level crossing were removed but it was almost 68 years before it came to pass.
On the northern side of the Clayfield Station the New Sandgate Road makes a sharp angular turn near Junction Road. At the time of construction a large paddock had been previously purchased by an owner difficult to locate and in those early jog along days the road was built around the corner of the paddock and has so remained to the present day. The road should have been built in a straight direction from Clayfield towards Toombul at that particular spot.
Perhaps, it is too much of an exaction on human nature to expect that the early road planners would have anticipated that in future days this road planned as a road to Sandgate would become a main northern highway particularly since the construction and opening of the Hornibrook Highway in 1935. Fortunately the construction of the Gateway Arterial further east has removed what was becoming increasing congestion and urban pressure on this road which was really designed for an earlier time and era.
The Toombul Divisional Board was the existing local authority of the area in which the New Sandgate Road was built and on the completion of the work the original Sandgate Road was called the Old Sandgate Road, which was later changed to Bonney Avenue after Mrs. Bonney who at that time was actively interested in aviation.
Road building at the time of construction of the New Sandgate Road and others differed entirely in methods, appearance, surface and implements. Queen Street itself, running through the City of Brisbane, was not asphalted in the year 1883. The method of construction particularly of excavation and grading cuttings was, before bulldozers and other modem mechanical methods, done by a one or two horse plough. The material was removed by a horse drawn tip dray.
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