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Cultural Resources Intensive Survey for the Proposed Cypress Creek Hike and Bike Trail for Timber Lane Utility District, Harris County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
The Timber Lane Utility District plans to construct a hike and bike trail adjacent to and across Cypress Creek in the unincorporated town of Spring, Harris County, Texas. The project would begin north of Cypress Creek with connection to the existing Timber Lane Park paved trail system and would terminate south of Cypress Creek near Werrington subdivision.
The area of potential effect (APE) includes the construction limits and all areas subject to temporary disturbance during construction. The width of the proposed paved trail varies from 10 feet to 20 feet, with a 14 to 24-foot wide cleared trail corridor, and an assumed depth of 3 ft including signage, landscaping, lighting, and drainage features. Total project length is approximately 13,935 linear feet, located between Timber Lane Park and Werrington subdivision (7.76 acres). Approximately 9,500 feet of existing trail and maintained right of way (ROW) will be improved as part of the project (5.25 acres). Approximately 4,435 feet of trail would be constructed within undeveloped property (2.51 acres). Nine trail heads, five of which are at existing locations, are proposed for the project. The five existing trail heads are located at Timber Lane Park and along Rambling Brook Drive. The four new trail heads would be located at Rambling Brook Drive, Millhouse Road, the Mercer Arboretum, and at Sago Island Drive. Proposed trail head features will include benches, a drinking fountain, and a kiosk presenting a trail map and information. The trail will span across Cypress Creek via three 14-foot wide weathered steel truss bridges, including abutments. The assumed depth of impact will be 12 ft below the surface. The trail will also span a tributary of Cypress Creek, located north of Briarcreek Boulevard, via a similar truss bridge. A retaining wall is also proposed for a portion of the trail located near an unnamed intermittent stream. However, the trail will avoid impacts to stream features and other waterbodies and wetlands located along the project area.
The total project cost has been approved by the Metropolitan Planning Organization of which the federal share is 80 percent. Timber Lane Utility District would be responsible for the remaining 20 percent and for all non-federal or non-state participation costs associated with the proposed project.
A cultural resources survey The APE was assessed in accordance to guidelines set forth in the Antiquities Code of Texas (Section 191.0525) and those in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (36 CFR Part 800).
From March 5 through March 8, 2013, Paul M. Matchen (Principal Investigator) and Trisha Gonzales (Archeological Field Technician) from the Cultural Resources Department of TRC’s Austin office conducted an intensive archeological survey within the project APE. This work involved a 100 percent pedestrian survey and selective shovel testing (N = 28) across the 3.3-mile long tract.
Twenty-eight shovel tests and two deep backhoe trenches were excavated. These subsurface investigations found no significant cultural deposits. In addition, no standing historic structures or cemeteries were observed within the APE during this survey. For these reasons, no eligibility considerations were made for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places (36 CFR 800) or for nomination as a State Archeological Landmark (Chapter 191). Archeological clearance is recommended for this proposed undertaking by the Timber Lane Utility District within the proposed APE. No further cultural resources investigations are recommended. However, in the event that any human remains are encountered during the undertaking all work should cease immediately and Timber Lane Utility District should notify local law enforcement, who in turn will notify the local medical examiner’s office. If these remains are not recent, the Texas Historical Commission should be notified.
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