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Summary of Archeological Investigations Conducted Under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 4207 for the Texas Department of Transportation, Gonzales, Caldwell, Williamson, Bastrop, and Hill Counties, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
In July 2006, the Texas Department of Transportation contracted TRC Environmental Corporation to conduct four surveys without geological evaluation under Contract #575XXSA008. All four investigations were subsumed under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 4207, with J. Michael Quigg serving as Principal Investigator. Fieldwork for all four investigations was performed by Dana Anthony and David O. Brown. All field work was conducted between July 2006 and October 2006. The projects were located in Gonzales and Caldwell County, Williamson County, Bastrop County, and Hill County. Final preparation of this report was performed by Marisol Espino and James Abbott, based upon drafts provided by TRC Environmental, with James T. Abbott assuming the role of Principal Investigator.
Task 1 – This project consisted of improvements to US 183, from IH10 to a point 0.29 miles north of Business 183 in Gonzales (Gonzales and Caldwell County). The project would widen the roadway to construct an auxiliary lane at five locations. The completed project would provide three 12-foot travel lanes with 10-foot shoulders. A 100% survey of the seven bridge crossings and the 3,000-foot section was conducted, and 10 shovel tests, 6 auger tests and 18 backhoe trenches were excavated, during this project. A total of 28.52 acres were examined between July 26, 2006 and August 4, 2007. Six new archeological sites were recorded. These include one site each at the Plum Creek tributary (41CW102), Mule Creek (41GZ213), the 3000-foot section at the unnamed creek (41GZ216), and Canoe Creek (41GZ217), and two sites (41GZ214 and 41GZ215) at the Artesia Creek crossing. None of the sites was judged to retain sufficient integrity to merit additional work. The SHPO concurred with this recommendation on September 28, 2006.
Task 2 – This project entailed replacing the bridge and approaches on FM 619 at Dry Brushy Creek in Williamson County. The existing bridge would be replaced by a longer and wider bridge aligned several m to the east of the existing roadway, and the approaches would be reworked to meet the new bridge. About 4.6 acres of new ROW would be required. A total of 12 acres were examined between August 17, 2006 and August 31, 2006 by Dana Anthony and David O. Brown. The pedestrian survey did not identify any intact cultural materials on the surface or in the cut banks of Dry Brushy Creek. No further work was recommended. The SHPO concurred with this recommendation on October 12, 2006.
Task 3 – This project entailed replacing a bridge and approaches on County Road 143 (also known as Stockdale Ranch Road) at West Yegua Creek in Bastrop County, Texas. The existing bridge was replaced by a longer and wider bridge that was aligned several m to the east. A total of 2 acres were surveyed on October 24, 2006 by Dana Anthony and David O. Brown. The surface inspection of the project area was negative as were the four trenches excavated. No prehistoric or historic archeological remains were identified. Based on the negative survey, the project was placed on TxDOT’s weekly list of projects requiring no further work on December 7, 2006.
Task 4 – This project entailed improvements to 8.7 mi of SH31 in Hill County, including constructing a new 5.4 mi bypass south of the town of Hubbard on new location. The overall project consisted of 277 acres of ROW. TxDOT identified four areas totaling approximately 50 acres with reasonable potential to contain archeological sites with sufficient integrity to qualify as historic properties under NHPA or for listing as a State Archeological (now Antiquities) Landmark (SAL). A total of 50 acres were examined between September 27 – 29, 2006 and then again between October 5 – 6, 2006 by Dana Anthony and David O. Brown. No prehistoric archeological remains were identified. Historic archeological remains consisting of some standing farm outbuildings were recorded as site 41HI295. No associated subsurface deposits were located at the site, and aerial photography suggested that the farmhouse was outside the project area of potential effect (APE). Accordingly, the portion of the site in the APE was judged to require no further work. The SHPO concurred with this finding on November 3, 2006.
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