Texas Historical Commission
The Trinity River Authority has proposed the construction of approximately 1.2 miles of 48-inch sewer line along Red Oak Creek in Ellis County, Texas. The proposed interceptor would extend from just east of Farm-to-Market Road 342/South Central Boulevard to the Red Oak Creek Regional Water System Plant in Red Oak, and would be constructed within a 100-foot-wide combined temporary and permanent easement. The entire line is proposed for open trenching, except at Shawnee Road near the north end of the project, where the pipeline will be bored. Depths of impacts are expected to be no greater than 15 feet. An existing pipeline is located within the 100-foot-wide easement. The proposed archeological area of potential effects for this project is approximately 15 acres in size.
The Trinity River Authority is a subentity of the State of Texas; therefore, the Antiquities Code of Texas (9 TNRC 191) applies to the project. Additionally, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended (16 USC 470; 36 CFR 800) applies due to the necessity of a Section 404 Permit for the project.
On November 28, 2017 and March 9, 2018, intensive and reconnaissance archeological surveys with mechanical trenching were completed in order to evaluate potential impacts associated with the proposed project to archeological sites or deposits. Two previously recorded archeological sites are located within or immediately adjacent to the project easement and were revisited. Melissa M. Green (Principal Investigator) and Brett Lang of Cox|McLain Environmental Consulting, Inc. carried out the survey for the Trinity River Authority under Texas Antiquities Permit 8221, as required under the Antiquities Code of Texas.
Ground visibility ranged from 0 to 50 percent across the majority of the project corridor, with some areas exhibiting 80 to 100 percent ground visibility due to sparse vegetation in wooded areas, a worn two-track road, and clearing for geotechnical drilling. Eleven shovel tests were excavated within the corridor, including two shovel tests in the vicinity of site 41EL150, an early twentieth-century scatter; no archeological deposits, materials, or features were observed or encountered during the survey. Site 41EL151, recorded as bison bone eroding out of the creek bank, was also revisited; one shovel test and three backhoe trenches were excavated in the vicinity of the site but no evidence of it was observed. It is believed that both of these sites have been destroyed.
All materials (notes, photographs, administrative documents, and other project data) generated from this work will be housed at the Center for Archeological Studies at Texas State University where they will be made permanently available to future researchers as per 13 TAC 26.16–17.
If any unanticipated cultural materials or deposits are found at any stage of clearing, preparation, or construction, the work should cease in that area and Texas Historical Commission personnel should be notified immediately. During evaluation of the finds and coordination with the Texas Historical Commission, clearing, preparation, and/or construction could continue in any other areas along the corridor where no such deposits or materials are observed.
The Texas Historical Commission concurred with the findings and recommendations of this report on April 10, 2018.
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