Texas Historical Commission
Hicks & Company archaeologists, working on behalf of Naismith Engineering Incorporated (Naismith) and the City of Del Rio (the City), recently conducted an intensive archaeological survey for the City’s proposed San Felipe Hike and Bike Trail Improvements Project located in downtown Del Rio, Val Verde County, Texas (Figure 1). According to current design plans, the proposed project consists of the renovation of approximately 285 linear meters (938 linear feet) of existing hike and bike trail within a two-meter (six-foot) wide corridor and the creation of approximately 378 linear meters (1239 linear feet) of hike and bike trail within a three-meter (10-foot wide corridor). In addition, proposed improvements include the construction of eight new solar-powered lighting stations and signage. Depth of impacts is expected to be approximately 24 centimeters (10 inches) for proposed new and renovated trail and between 65 and 100 centimeters (30 and 90 centimeters) for signage (Appendix A: Design Plans). Depth of impacts for solar-powered lighting is expected to be similar to that of signage.
Funded by the City of Del Rio, a political entity of the state of Texas, and therefore subject to the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT), this project was reviewed by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) in 2012 on behalf of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Following review, the THC recommended that archeological survey was warranted prior to construction as the project area had never been surveyed and, being adjacent to San Felipe Creek, was within an area of high probability for cultural resources (letter Wolfe to Goldblum, July 6, 2012: See Appendix B Regulatory Correspondence). The current investigations were conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit #7245 in accordance with the THC and the Council of Texas Archaeologists’ (CTAs) guidelines for intensive archaeological survey. During the investigations, nine shovel tests were excavated, with all shovel tests negative for cultural materials greater than 45 years of age. Shovel tests JH1-JH6, excavated along the trail segment that is between State Highway (SH) 277 and SH 90 noted sediment similar to that of the Reynosa soil series- silty clay loams grayish brown to pale brown and/or brown in color. All six shovel tests conducted along this segment noted a thick bed of smooth-surfaced gravel between 5-20 centimeters below the surface. Three shovel tests (shovel tests JH7-JH9) were excavated at the southernmost segment, located approximately 1,000 meters south of SH 277. Shovel tests JH7 and JH8 noted deep, moist, silty reddish brown clay loams with little to no gravel inclusions. Sediment from shovel test JH9 was similar in character to shovel tests JH1-JH6.
Fieldwork for the archaeological survey occurred on April 8 and April 9, 2015, requiring approximately 11 field hours to complete. Josh Haefner served as Principal Investigator, conducting the field investigations and authoring the report. As Geographic Information System (GIS) specialist, Jerod McCleland produced all maps and graphics. In addition to this Management Summary, this report includes sections on Research Design and Methodology, and Results of the Survey. These sections are followed by conclusions containing formal regulatory recommendations. Also included, as appendices, are design plans illustrating the various design segments (Appendix A), regulatory correspondence (Appendix B), and shovel test locations (Appendix C). No archaeological sites were recorded during the investigations. All projectgenerated notes, forms, and photographs will be curated at the Center for Archeological Studies in San Marcos, Texas. This report is offered in partial fulfillment of Texas Antiquities Permit #7245.
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