Texas Historical Commission
El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board (EPWU) contracted ARCADIS U.S., Inc. to perform preconstruction investigations for cultural resources as part of their proposed Paisano Drive 48 inch Transmission Waterline Project (PTW) in El Paso County, Texas. The PTW is located at the west base of the Franklin Mountains in northwest El Paso and can be found on the Smeltertown 31106G5 (1994) USGS 7.5’ topographic quadrangle (Figure 1). The project area encompasses 3.07 miles between -106.529548, 31.792403 (northwest) and -106.504871, 31.764421 (southeast). The northwestern and southeastern limits of the linear project area lie near the northern bank of the Rio Grande, and the central portions of the project are located within the Former ASARCO boundaries managed by the Texas Custodial Trust for remediation. The PTW Project is required to address the steady increase in population on the west side of El Paso. ARCADIS coordinated heavily with both the Texas Department of Transportation and the appropriate railroads on the project and alignment to ensure project construction areas are not overlapping. Several arroyos, the American Canal, and areas within the Former ASARCO property are considered jurisdictional by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Albuquerque due to the arroyos flowing directly into the Rio Grande, and will require a Nationwide Permit 12 for utility line installation. ARCADIS is coordinating the installation of the PTW with ongoing remedial actions to reduce impacts to Waters of the U.S. and prevent disrupting remedial actions within the Former ASARCO property.
The PTW project extends from a point on the Rio Grande approximately one half mile north of the American Dam following a path roughly parallel to Interstate 10 and through Former ASARCO property to a point near the International Dam where it turns northeast and extends under existing highway and railroad infrastructure to the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP) parking lot where it rejoins EPWU facilities (Figure 1). This distance is a total of 3.07 miles and involved survey coverage of that project length including buffers to include projected work areas and known resources (Graves 2012). The survey investigation for cultural resources for the then proposed PTW reported no newly recognized cultural resources, confirmed the locations of known cultural resources, and recommended the PTW project would have no adverse effect to historic properties (Graves 2012).
In 2013, El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board (EPWU) contracted ARCADIS U.S., Inc. to perform archeological monitoring for a select portion of the PTW. The archeological monitoring investigation summarized here represents approximately 16 percent of the total PTW project length. The PTW was to be installed within and near historic properties and other cultural resources of the historic period, requiring a permit from the Texas Historical Commission. Archeological monitoring complied with permits from the Texas Historical Commission (THC) Permit #6245, and United States International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) Permit LSF G-1840. The portion selected for monitoring during construction included federal property adjacent to the American Canal and from the southern end of that portion, then toward the northeast to reach an existing bore hole next to Doniphan Drive (Figure 2).
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