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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

On behalf of VRRSP Consultants, LLC and Central Texas Regional Water Supply Corporation (CTRWSC), SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted cultural resources investigations of the Vista Ridge Regional Water Supply (Vista Ridge) Project in Burleson, Lee, Bastrop, Caldwell, Guadalupe, Comal, and Bexar Counties. The work will involve installation of a 139.45-mile-long, 60-inch-diameter water pipeline from northcentral San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, to Deanville, Burleson County, Texas. The report details the findings of investigations from June 2015 to December 2015, on the alignment dated December 8, 2015 (December 8th). The Vista Ridge Project is subject to review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (54 USC 306108) and its implementing regulations (36 CFR 800), in anticipation of a Nationwide Permit 12 from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in accordance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. In addition, the work is subject to compliance with the Antiquities Code of Texas under Permit Number 7295, as the Vista Ridge Project will be ultimately owned by a political subdivision of the State of Texas.

The cultural resources investigations included a background review and intensive field survey. The background review identified previous investigations, recorded archaeological sites, National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) properties, cemeteries, standing structures, and other known cultural resources within a 0.50-mile radius of the project area. The field investigations conducted from June 2015 through December 2015 assessed all accessible portions of the proposed December 8th alignment as of December 25, 2015. Approximately 101.8 miles of the 139.45-mile alignment has been surveyed. Approximately 24.42 miles were not surveyed based on the results of the background review and extensive disturbances as confirmed by vehicular survey. The remaining 13.23 miles that require survey were either unavailable due to landowner restrictions or part of a newly adopted reroute. SWCA also surveyed additional mileage, which includes rerouted areas that are no longer part of the December 8th alignment.

The inventory identified 59 cultural resources, including 52 archaeological sites and seven isolated finds. In addition to newly recorded resources, two previously recorded archaeological sites were revisited, and two cemeteries were documented. Of the 52 newly recorded archaeological sites, seven are recommended for further work or avoidance. Of the two revisited archeological sites, one is recommended for further work or avoidance within the project area. Avoidance is recommended for both documented cemeteries. The resources with undetermined eligibility require additional testing or other avenues of research before SWCA can make a firm recommendation about their eligibility for nomination to the NRHP and designation as State Antiquities Landmarks (SALs). As part of a management strategy, the resources with undetermined eligibility may also be avoided by reroute or boring beneath. The remaining 45 cultural resources are recommended not eligible for inclusion to the NRHP or for designation as SALs and no further cultural resources investigations or avoidance strategies are recommended.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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