Historic Telford-style road uncovered at Thompson Square

HERITAGE issues have emerged in Thompson Square as the government looks for contractors to complete the Windsor Bridge Replacement Project.

Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman, right, stands with NSW Labor's Penny Sharpe, above the cross section of the Telford-style road at South Creek Until recently, it was covered by shrubbery. Picture: Supplied

Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman, right, stands with NSW Labor's Penny Sharpe, above the cross section of the Telford-style road at South Creek Until recently, it was covered by shrubbery. Picture: Supplied

An early and groundbreaking type of road paving has been discovered next to the bridge at South Creek, while a Francis Greenway-designed wharf will likely have to make way for the new bridge.

The presence of a ‘Telford’ style road in the area of Thompson Square proves, according to Susan Templeman and members of CAWB, that there are more heritage questions than answers.

CAWB spokesperson Kate Mackaness called for a halt to the project, so that a thorough heritage assessment could be conducted.

Ms Templeman, the Labor Member for Macquarie, also said the government should suspend the project and conduct a thorough investigation of the area.

“This discovery joins the long list of items deemed to be of archaeological and historical importance which will either be removed or destroyed by NSW the works to Thompson Square,” she said via a prepared statement.

“In such an important area, this new discovery needs to undergo a thorough assessment to ensure it is not ripped up and lost forever.”

RMS documentation, which shows suspected Telford-style road in the area of Thompson Square. The pink outline is where the road is suspected to lay.

RMS documentation, which shows suspected Telford-style road in the area of Thompson Square. The pink outline is where the road is suspected to lay.

The Telford style of road is named after a Scottish engineer called Thomas Telford, who pioneered a type of road base using large stones – or pitches – mixed in with smaller ones.

A cross section clearly showing a Telford-style road, has been uncovered next to South Creek.

At the same time RMS documents outline an area along Bridge Street and up to the roundabout at George Street, where the section of road is suspected to be.

CAWB’s Mackaness said she had grave concerns the the Telford style road, or the Francis Greenway-designed wharf would not survive the Windsor Bridge Replacement Project.

“Once it is gone it is gone forever, that is the problem,” she said.

“I am enraged about the absence of due process.

“If they’re so confident they have a good project, let’s have an investigation. Better halt it, to be sure, and demonstrably so, rather than destroy items of internationally significant heritage.”