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Authors

Dan Rodriguez

Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

On behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation, SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an intensive archeological survey on December 16, 2016, of approximately 87.5 acres of existing right-of-way (ROW) along Farm-to-Market road (FM) 1463 near Katy, Texas, for the purpose of upgrading and widening the roadway. Investigations occurred along FM 1463 between Interstate Highway (IH) 10 and FM 359. The total project area for roadway improvements constitutes 115.4 acres within new and existing ROW; however, access was limited to the 87.5 acres of existing ROW; access to 27.9 acres comprising new ROW was not available. 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, 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). Allen Bettis served as Principal Investigator under Texas Antiquities Code Permit No. 7828.

The total area of potential effects (APE) for the project is defined as the FM 1463 ROW between its juncture with IH 10 to the north and FM 359 to the south, totaling approximately 6.8 miles (10.9 kilometers [km]). The existing FM 1463 ROW is approximately 100 feet wide and the proposed new ROW is approximately 20 to 60 feet wide. Based upon typical roadway design, the depth of impacts is anticipated to be no more than 3 feet for the roadway, 10 feet in depth for the proposed storm water drainage, and up to 50 feet in depth for the bridge replacement across Willow Fork Creek.

The background review revealed that within 0.6 mile (1 km) of the APE there are eight previously conducted archeological investigations, two archeological sites (41FB279 and 41FB129) and one cemetery. A review of historic topographic maps indicated that 102 potentially historic buildings are present within 0.6 mile (1 km) of the APE, some of which are mapped directly adjacent to, but not within, the APE. Site 41FB279 is a buried prehistoric lithic scatter located on the east bank of Willow Fork. The site’s eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is currently listed as undetermined. Site 41FB129 is a prehistoric campsite located on the west bank of Willow Fork. Site 41FB129 is listed as not eligible for the NRHP.

Field investigations, consisting of a pedestrian survey, revealed that the APE has been modified by previous roadway construction, residential and commercial development, and utilities, lessening the potential for intact archeological deposits to be present within the APE. Other than modern debris, investigators did not identify any cultural materials within the APE during the pedestrian survey. Additionally, based on field observations, the 27.9 acres of proposed new ROW have been extensively developed and no further work is recommended. Based on the results of the survey, SWCA recommends a finding of “no historic properties affected,” and no further archeological investigations are recommended within the surveyed portions of the APE. Finally, the location of associated facilities, such as detention ponds, have not yet been identified; therefore, no recommendations are provided for these pending facilities.

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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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