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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

On behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation, SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey with mechanical trenching on September 20-22, 2017, of 57.69 acres of new and existing right-of-way (ROW) along United States Highway (US) 69 and the intersection of Farm-to-Market (FM) 779 in Wood County, Texas. Because the project will receive funding from the Federal Highways Administration, it qualifies as an undertaking as defined in Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations Part 800.16(y) and, therefore, survey was conducted in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (54 U.S. Code 306108). Furthermore, the project must also comply with the Antiquities Code of Texas (9 Natural Resources Code 191). Kevin Hanselka served as Principal Investigator under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 8162.

The area of potential effects (APE) is defined as a two-mile long stretch of US 69 and a 0.17- mile long stretch along FM 779. The area includes the existing 120-foot-wide ROW and an additional 25.19 acres (from 19 parcels) of new ROW along the southwest side of the existing ROW. The total project area is therefore about 57.69 acres, of which about 32.5 acres is existing ROW and 25.19 acres is new ROW. Typical depths of impact are anticipated to be approximately two feet, with maximum depths of impacts of up to six feet at culvert locations.

A background literature review determined that the APE has previously been surveyed for cultural resources by Hicks & Company in 2004, but that no deep testing was conducted to assess the potential for deeply buried deposits during that effort. One other cultural resource survey was conducted within 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) of the survey area; a 2010 survey of Golden Community Cemetery by AR Consultants, Inc. on behalf of the Texas Water Development Board. One archeological site (41WD257) is located approximately 350 meters north of the APE, but minimal information is available on this site. Two historic markers are located in the town of Golden near the APE, for Reuben Leon and Fairess Simmons, and for the Reneau Building (marker numbers 15501 and 17729). Finally one cemetery, Golden Cemetery, is located within 0.6 miles of the project area.

The survey identified substantial disturbances within the APE, including prior infrastructure development, such as utilities and road construction, and a variety of other land use practices. SWCA assessed the entire 57.69-acre survey area, but focused on the 25.19 acres of proposed new ROW. SWCA excavated eight backhoe trenches (BHTs) to assess the potential for deeply buried cultural deposits along the prominent drainages and 26 shovel tests in upland areas. The survey identified a negligible potential for intact cultural resources within the existing ROW, and the investigations revealed no cultural material within the new ROW. At the time of the survey access was denied for six parcels, comprising 1.85 acres of new ROW; these parcels are predominantly commercial or residential developments. No further archeological investigations are recommended within the APE and within a 50-foot buffer beyond the horizontal project limits on the southwestern side of the roadway.

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

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