Texas Historical Commission
The Houston District of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) proposes to construct a new roadway on primarily undeveloped land around the north side of the City of Magnolia in Montgomery County, Texas. The proposed roadway will be the Farm-to-Market (FM) 1488 Magnolia Relief Route extending from the existing FM 1488 west of Magnolia to the proposed State Highway (SH) 249 east of Magnolia. The proposed project would be approximately 5.4 miles (8.7 kilometers) in length. The proposed roadway will consist of four lanes, two in each direction, separated by a median. This project will also include grade-separated overpasses at FM 1774, at the Union Pacific Railroad, and at the proposed SH 249 extension. The project and archeological area of potential effects totals 199.88 acres, 155.0 of which are new right-of-way, 41.5 acres that overlap with the proposed SH 249 project, and 3.38 acres of existing right-ofway.
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) applies to this project; the Antiquities Code of Texas also applies.
Based on a review of the Houston Potential Archeological Liability Map (PALM), 73 percent of the 199.88-acre (80.8-hectare) project area (146.91 acres or 59.45 hectares) is designated as Map Unit 2, for which a surface survey is recommended. The total acreage includes right-of-way that overlaps with the proposed SH 249 project. PALM data also indicated that the remaining area, 27 percent (52.97 acres or 21.43 hectares), is located within Map Unit 4, for which surface survey is not recommended.
Cox|McLain Environmental Consulting, Inc. (CMEC) completed an intensive archeological survey to inventory and evaluate archeological resources within the area of potential effects (APE). Fieldwork was conducted April 11-13, 2017, under Texas Antiquities Permit 7914. Only 48 percent of the total acreage was surveyed since access was not granted for the remaining 52 percent. The majority of accessible parcels where intensive survey was conducted was determined to have been heavily disturbed by activities associated with agriculture and cattle grazing, as well as erosion.
No new archeological sites were identified during the survey and no artifacts were identified or recovered. Project records will be curated at the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University per TAC 26.16 and 26.17.
The Texas Historical Commission concurred with the findings and recommendations of this report on September 1, 2017.
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