Texas Historical Commission
On 15 January 2015, Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. (Horizon) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey of the City of Round Rock’s Frontier Park Improvement Project in Round Rock, Williamson County, Texas (Project Area). The Project Area is located approximately 150.0 feet (ft) (45.8 meters [m]) south of the intersection of Chisholm Valley Drive and Frontier Trail in Round Rock, Texas. The proposed project entails conducting general improvements within the existing Frontier Park location, including minor modifications to the existing Frontier Park trail right-of-way (ROW) within the Project Area. The Area of Potential Effect (APE) for the Project Area totals 7.0 acres.
The proposed undertaking is currently owned and operated by the City of Round Rock, a political subdivision of the State of Texas; as such, the project falls under the jurisdiction of the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT). Additionally, proposed improvements to the Project Area are being funded by Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds provided by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As such, the proposed undertaking also falls under the jurisdiction of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), as amended. As the proposed project is a publicly sponsored undertaking, the City of Round Rock is required to provide for a cultural resources inventory of the Project Area to assess the project’s possible impacts on any cultural resources in the Project Area. At the request of the City of Round Rock, Horizon conducted the cultural resources survey of the Project Area in compliance with the ACT and Section 106 of the NHPA. The purpose of the survey was to determine if the development of the Project Area would have the potential to adversely affect any significant cultural resources designated as or considered eligible for formal designation as State Antiquities Landmarks (SAL) or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The cultural resources survey was performed under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 7144.
The cultural resources survey resulted in the reassessment of 1 previously recorded site, 41WM442. Site 41WM442 was originally documented as a low-density aboriginal lithic scatter near the central portion of the Project Area. However, only a single chert flake was observed during the site reassessment, and the flake was restricted to surface contexts on the site. Six shovel tests were excavated in the vicinity of the originally documented site centroid for site 41WM442, all of which produced negative results. The originally delineated site boundaries could not be reevaluated based upon the paucity of cultural materials along the modern ground surface and within shovel tests. Given the low density of cultural materials, and the lack of temporally diagnostic artifacts, cultural features, preserved floral/faunal remains, or intact archeological deposits on the site, it is Horizon’s opinion that site 41WM442 is ineligible for formal designation as an SAL or inclusion on the NRHP. As such, no additional investigations are recommended for site 41WM442 in connection with the currently proposed undertaking.
Based on the survey-level results, it is Horizon’s opinion that the proposed improvements to the City of Round Rock’s Frontier Park Project will have no adverse effect on significant cultural resources designated as or considered eligible for formal designation as SALs or eligible for listing on the NRHP. Horizon therefore recommends that the City of Round Rock be allowed to proceed with the proposed improvements to Frontier Park relative to the jurisdiction of the ACT and Section 106 of the NHPA. However, in the unlikely event that any cultural materials (including human remains or burial features) are inadvertently discovered at any point during construction, use, or ongoing maintenance of the Project Area, even in previously surveyed areas, all work at the location of the discovery should cease immediately, and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) should be notified of the discovery.
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