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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

At the request of Arredondo, Zepeda, & Brunz, LLC (ABZ), and on behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Tyler District, SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey of proposed improvements (i.e., widening the existing two-lane road) to approximately 23,232.08 linear feet (4.4 miles) of Farm-to-Market Road (FM) 16 from 4.0 miles west of FM 849 east to U.S. Highway 69 (US 69) in Lindale, Smith County, Texas (CSJ: 0522-04-032). The project would consist of widening FM 16 within existing and proposed right-of-way (ROW). The proposed project includes approximately 39.1 acres of existing FM 16 ROW, which ranges from 70 to 100 feet wide. Proposed ROW for the project would encompass approximately 68.1 acres and have a variable width of 145 to 315 feet within rural sections; in urban sections, the proposed ROW would be a minimum of 80 feet wide to a maximum of 370 feet wide. In summary, the overall area of potential effects (APE) is approximately 23,232.08 feet (4.4 miles) long, 70 to 370 feet wide, and will extend 4 to 6 feet below ground surface for roadway improvements, up to 10 feet below ground for cross drainage culverts, and 20 to 30 feet below ground for bridge support columns. Utility relocations are anticipated, but the exact locales of such relocations are currently unknown.

Archaeological investigations were performed to comply with the Antiquities Code of Texas, due to the involvement of public lands controlled by TxDOT, a political subdivision of the State of Texas. Additionally, the project may receive funding from the Federal Highway Administration or require a federal permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and, as such, is subject to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The goal of the work was to identify cultural resources within the proposed project area, establish vertical and horizontal site boundaries as appropriate, and evaluate the significance and eligibility of all discovered cultural resources for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) or for designation as a State Antiquities Landmark (SAL).

SWCA conducted field investigations from February 21 through February 25. Archaeologists attempted to excavate 225 shovel tests during the survey, but due to standing water, existing subsurface utilities, and eroded areas, only 215 shovel tests were excavated in support of the project, which exceeds the Texas Historical Commission’s recommended survey standards for a project of this size. Investigations resulted in the discovery of two archaeological sites (41SM483 and 41SM484) consisting of an early- to midtwentieth-century single crib barn (41SM483) and a low-density scatter of non-diagnostic prehistoric lithic artifacts (41SM484). Investigations also discovered one isolated find (IF1), a single presumably Early Caddo (ca. A.D. 900–1200) ceramic sherd recovered from a single shovel test. Due to the paucity of cultural material, a lack of diagnostic artifacts, or cultural features, and extensive disturbances, both sites are recommended as not eligible for the NRHP or for designation as SALs.

In accordance with the Antiquities Code of Texas and 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 800.4, SWCA made a reasonable and good faith effort to identify cultural resources within the APE. As no properties were identified that may meet the criteria for listing on the NRHP, according to 36 CFR 60.4, or for designation as an SAL, as per 13 TAC 26.12, SWCA recommends that no further cultural resources investigations are warranted within the surveyed portions of the APE and that a determination of No Historic Properties Affected be granted for the those areas. However, as SWCA lacked right-of-entry (ROE) to 30 parcels encompassing 27.76 acres of proposed ROW, investigations in those areas were not possible. To complete the assessment of the APE, SWCA recommends that an intensive cultural resources survey of the proposed ROW in these 30 parcels should be undertaken once ROE becomes available.

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