Texas Historical Commission
On behalf of River City Engineering and Canyon Regional Water Authority (CRWA), SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey for the Wells Ranch Crystal Clear Transmission Line in Guadalupe County, Texas. The work was conducted as part of the sponsor’s compliance with the Antiquities Code of Texas (Permit Number 6678) and the National Historic Preservation Act in anticipation of a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Fort Worth District under Nationwide Permit 12 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The project area is located 3.5 miles northwest of Geronimo, Texas, between State Highway 46 and Farm-to-Market Road 758.
The CRWA proposes to replace and install a new 16-inch-diameter water main line within existing CRWA easements, other utility easements, and private property. Installation of the pipeline will require trenching and boring within a 50-foot-wide construction easement. Typically, trenching impacts would be 6 to 7 feet deep, while bore pits would be 8 to 10 feet deep. The area of potential effects (APE) is a 4.3-mile alignment. During the course of the project, approximately 2.7 miles of the alignment was rerouted after the original route was surveyed. The 2.7-mile alternative route was ultimately abandoned. This report includes the results of the investigations of both the abandoned alternative route and the final Crystal Clear Alignment. The total APE for the Crystal Clear project area is 26 acres.
The investigations included a background review and an intensive pedestrian survey with shovel testing of the project area boundaries. The background review determined that two small portions of the project area have been previously surveyed by the Lower Colorado River Authority, the Texas Department of Transportation, and the Farmers Home Administration. Additionally, two previously recorded sites (41GU43 and 41GU87) are adjacent to the southwest portion of the project area. Two previously conducted surveys and seven previously recorded archaeological sites are located within a 1-mile radius of the project area. A review of historic maps dating from 1921 and 1958 indicate there were several historic-age resources within or adjacent to the proposed alignment.
Overall, the intensive pedestrian survey revealed that the proposed project area is within a rural setting intersected by fence lines, overhead utility lines, existing underground utilities, and road ways. Almost the entire APE consisted of plowed field affording 90 to 100 percent ground visibility. A total of 50 shovel tests were excavated within the available APE. Shovel tests were excavated to depths ranging from 30 to 60 centimeters below ground surface and consisted of clay and clay loam. The Texas Historical Commission’s survey standards for projects of this size recommend 16 shovel tests per linear mile when the right-of-way measures less than 100 feet wide, or 69 shovel tests for the current project area. Due to high ground surface visibility and previous disturbances within the APE, SWCA reduced the number of shovel tests as subsurface exploration was not warranted in certain areas. One isolated find was encountered within the northeastern end of the project area. No evidence of previously recorded sites 41GU43 and 41GU87 were documented within the project area. One archaeological site, 41GU167, was documented during survey investigations of the abandoned alternative route, but does not extend into the final Crystal Clear Alignment.
In accordance with 36 CFR 800.4, SWCA has made a reasonable and good faith effort to identify cultural resources properties within the APE. As no properties were identified that meet the criteria for listing on the NRHP according to 36 CFR 60.4 or for designation as a State Antiquities Landmark, according to 13 TAC 26.8, SWCA recommends no further cultural resources work within the project area.
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