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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

On behalf of Sentinel Land Company and a Municipal Utility District (MUD), SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey for the proposed Lively Sewer Line Extension Project in Williamson County, Texas. The project area is located between the communities of Leander and Georgetown, Texas, approximately 3 miles southeast of the State Highway (SH) 29 and Ronald Reagan Boulevard intersection. In anticipation of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permitting regulations, the proposed project is subject to review in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 USC 470) and its implementing regulations (36 CFR 800). In addition, the project area includes property owned or managed by a MUD, a political subdivision of the state; therefore, the work will require compliance with the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT). SWCA conducted investigations under Antiquities Permit Number 7027.

The proposed project involves the construction of a 2.5-mile-long sewer line extension. During construction, the proposed sewer line extension will use a 50-foot-wide (15-meter[m]-wide) temporary easement and will extend for approximately 13,200 feet (2.5 miles), encompassing 15.2 acres. The utility corridor will shrink to have a 30-foot-wide (9-m-wide) permanent easement after installation. In addition to the proposed sewer line, there are approximately 3.85 miles of proposed access roads. Approximately 5,545 linear feet (1.05 miles) or about 2.5 acres are proposed new access roads. The remaining 2.8 miles of additional access roads will use existing dirt roads and gravel roads and were not proposed for survey due to previous impacts. Additionally, there are six 500-foot-diameter (culminating in 27.0 acres) spoil lay down areas for the soil generated during the construction trenching. The depth of impacts would be roughly 7 to 10 feet below surface along the alignment. The exceptions consist of six bore pits that would flank the river at the three crossings and would extend approximately 20 feet below ground surface. Therefore, the area of potential effects (APE) encompasses roughly 44.7 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 portions of the project area have been previously surveyed and three previously recorded sites, 41WM459, 41WM113, and 41WM114, are located within or directly adjacent to the project area. Site 41WM459 is along one of the proposed access roads, while sites 41WM113 and 41WM114 are along the proposed pipeline. The historic map review determined there are no historic-age properties within the APE. The review identified an historic cemetery (Whitley Cemetery) within 985 feet (300 m) of the proposed sewer line.

The field investigations consisted of 43 shovel tests, one backhoe trench, and extensive examination of exposed profiles. During these investigations, SWCA newly recorded one archaeological site (41WM1278) and revisited one previously recorded site (41WM459). Due to the ubiquity of the site type in the region, the low density of diffusely scattered artifacts, the absence of any temporally diagnostic artifacts or cultural features, and the lack of overall integrity across the site, the parts of 41WM459 within the project area have limited potential to yield new or important information concerning regional prehistory. SWCA recommends therefore that the parts of 41WM459 within the current project area are not eligible for inclusion in the NRHP nor do they warrant designation as an SAL; the remainder of the site outside of the project area is of undetermined eligibility. Based on these data, no further work or avoidance is recommended for the parts of site 41WM459 within the current project area. However, should the proposed project design change and require impacts to other parts of 41WM459, those areas would require additional survey.

Given the possibility that site 41WM1278 is associated with the Whitley Cemetery that is approximately 100 feet to the southwest, and without the ability to determine the age, and context of the stonewall feature, SWCA recommends that eligibility for inclusion in the NRHP and SAL designation is undetermined for 41WM1278. However, the use of the roadway for the project will not detrimentally affect the site. Accordingly, no further field investigations are recommended for the site. Should construction activities be altered and affect the rock wall, archival research is recommended to determine the age and significance of the wall as it may relate to Whitley Cemetery.

In accordance with 33 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 may meet the criteria for listing in the NRHP according to 36 CFR 60.4 or for designation as an SAL, according to 13 TAC 26.10, SWCA recommends no further cultural resources work within the project area.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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