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Intensive Archeological Survey And Construction Monitoring For VFW Boulevard Drainage Improvements Segments 2, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
In June 2012, an intensive archeological survey was completed in order to inventory and evaluate archeological resources on public land prior to the construction of drainage and roadway improvements along VFW Boulevard from Roosevelt Avenue, which is also a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) roadway known as Spur 536, to Padre Drive in southeastern San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. From April 2013 to October 2014, construction-phase excavations were monitored. The work was carried out for Bexar County (the County) under Texas Antiquities Permit 6260. Cox|McLain Environmental Consulting, Inc. (CMEC) conducted the survey and monitoring under contract to HNTB Corporation.
The area of potential effects (APE) for the project extends from just west of Roosevelt Avenue to Padre Drive, a distance of approximately 0.43 kilometers (km) or 0.27 miles. Box-section storm drains, the deepest components of the project, were installed at depths up to approximately 6.1 meters (m) or 20 feet (ft). Most of the APE varies in width between 27.4 m and 36.6 m (90-120 ft), with its maximum width of approximately 113 m (370 ft) along Roosevelt Avenue. The 1.68-hectare (4.15-acre) APE includes approximately 1.29 hectares (3.19 acres) of existing City and County right-of-way and 0.38 hectares (0.95 acres) of TxDOT right-of-way. The APE also includes 0.002 hectares (0.005 acres) of new right-of-way acquired by the County.
The bulk of the APE is occupied by the existing pavement of VFW Boulevard. Much of the remainder has been disturbed by the installation of natural gas pipelines, communication and electrical cables, and other underground utilities. During survey investigations, 16 shovel test units and 7 backhoe trenches were excavated outside the paved area, primarily along the south side of VFW Boulevard, where surface expressions of disturbance appeared less severe and/or ground visibility was low. None of the subsurface units yielded archeological materials or deposits. No traces of a key target of the survey, a 7.8-m-wide (25.6-ft-wide) possible colonial-period acequia identified in a nearby project in Mission County Park, could be found; however, utility lines prevented the excavation of the long, continuous exposures necessary to recognize such a large feature. Construction-phase monitoring by qualified archeologists was recommended in an earlier version of this report, based on the location of the APE within the Mission Parkway National Register District, the proximity of known resources, the logistical constraints imposed by existing utilities and pavement, and the depth of proposed impacts. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) concurred on October 11, 2012.
During the monitoring phase, extensive subsurface disturbance was observed, primarily due to active and inactive utility lines (electrical, communications, gas, water, and wastewater). No materials or deposits of archeological interest were found.
No direct evidence was found of preserved deposits with a high degree of integrity; associations with distinctive architectural and material culture styles; rare materials and assemblages; the potential to yield data important to the study of preservation techniques and the past in general; or potential attractiveness to relic hunters (13 TAC 26.10).
No artifacts were collected; project records including notes, forms, and photographs will be curated at CAS, per TAC 26.16 and 26.17. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) concurred with the findings and recommendations of this report on April 2, 2015 (see Appendix A).
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