Texas Historical Commission
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) proposes to widen FM 48 from the town of Mobeetie Texas northward to the Wheeler/Hemphill County line. The Area of Potential Effects (APE) for the proposed FM 48 improvement project has a length of approximately 9.5 miles consists within the existing 100-foot ROW. The total area of APE is approximately 115.2 acres with no proposed new ROW or easements. The maximum vertical depth of impact will be approximately 5 feet for culvert replacements.
An intensive archeological survey conducted by TxDOT within the FM 48 project area traversing the recorded site 41WE20. The site consists of the Sweetwater Creek Battlefield which is a NRHP listed site and is part of the Red River War Battlefields National Register District. Prior to the survey consultation with THC was conducted for the appropriate survey methodology. A metal detector survey was conducted on April 2, 2015. During the course of the survey the west side of the APE was avoided due to extensive grading the presence of buried utilities. Although the east side of the APE within the delineated area of 41WE20 had a lesser degree of grading impacts, the shallow grading that had occurred was sufficient to disturb any potential surficial or shallowly buried items associated with the battlefield. In addition, the plethora of buried aluminium cans, barbed wire fence hardware and other recent metal items within the APE.
A TxDOT archeologist evaluated the potential for the proposed undertaking to affect archeological historic properties (36 CFR 800.16(l)) or State Archeological Landmarks (13 TAC 26.12) in the area of potential effects (APE). TxDOT concludes Based on field observations and the results of metal detector survey, the proposed undertaking will have no adverse effect on 41WE20. The site one of several sites that are part of a National Register District identified as Battle Sites of the Red River War. In addition, the existing ROW of FM 48 that traverses 41WE20 has been sufficiently impacted from prior to road construction that it should NOT be considered a contributing element the NRHP listed property thus compelling TxDOT to determine an exception under Section 4(f) regulations (23 CFR 774 and 23 USC 327). Considering the results of the survey, documented existing impacts, and lack of integrity of 41WE20 within the APE, TxDOT recommends NO additional work is warranted.
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