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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 systematic shovel testing on December 4, 2017, of new and existing right-of-way (ROW) along State Highway (SH) 334 in Henderson 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). Jon Budd served as Principal Investigator under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 8216.

The total area of potential effects (APE) is defined as the existing 140- to 200-foot-wide SH 334 ROW beginning at Southland Drive and extending 3,000 feet southwest to County Road 2403. In addition, the APE includes approximately 0.7 acre of proposed new ROW measuring 1,000 by 30 feet (0.7 acre), and an area of a proposed new easement measuring 360 by 20 feet (0.165 acre). According to the typical design, the depth of impacts would be between 10 and 40 feet below the current ground surface. The amount of existing ROW required for the project is approximately 13.8 acres. The total project area is estimated to be approximately 14.7 acres.

Background research determined that two cultural resources surveys have been previously conducted within the APE. Six previously recorded archeological sites are located within a 0.6- mile (1-kilometer) radius of the current APE, but none extend into the project area. The field investigations assessed the entire APE, but focused on three areas with slightly higher potential for intact deposits, including the new ROW and temporary easement. Consequently, the pedestrian survey focused on the three areas designated for shovel testing (a total of 1.52 acres). The investigations consisted of an intensive pedestrian survey supplemented with the excavation of 17 shovel tests. The proposed ROW has been modified to varying degrees by modern road and bridge infrastructure (e.g., paved pull-offs, riprap, grading and leveling) leaving little to no natural landform intact. SWCA documented no cultural resources within the three survey areas. SWCA recommends a finding of “no historic properties affected” and no further archeological investigations within the 14.7-acre APE.

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