Texas Historical Commission
On March 17 and 25, 2015, archeologists from the Texas Department of Transportation Archeological Studies Branch conducted an archeological survey that included mechanical trenching along FM 116. The project Area of Potential Effects (APE) begins at United States Highway (US) 84 in Gatesville to the north and continues southward approximately 18.8 miles to Cactus Lane. All construction would occur in the existing right of way which is typically 100-feet-wide. The project would add sections of passing lanes and turn lanes at select locations and would replace the existing bridge at Cowhouse Creek with a new structure. The typical depth of impact is from 1 to 3 feet along the passing lane and approaches and up to 60 feet deep where shafts would be drilled for support columns.
The potential impacts from the proposed project were greatest and Cowhouse Creek and field investigations and records research determined that this crossing at Cowhouse Creek was the only location in the APE with potential to contain intact archeological deposits. Mechanical Trenching was conducted at Cowhouse Creek along the west side of FM 116 with James T. Abbott, TxDOT staff geoarcheologist and Eric Oksanen, TxDOT District Archeologist conducting excavations. Four trenches were excavated and no archeological deposits were observed.
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