Texas Historical Commission
Raba Kistner Environmental, Inc. (RKEI), was contracted by the Brooks Development Authority (CLIENT) to conduct an intensive cultural resources survey of 34.95 acres at the southern boundary of Brooks City Base between the southern terminus of South New Braunfels Avenue and the western terminus of Lyster Road. This survey was in advance of the connection of South New Braunfels Avenue with Lyster Road, the improvement of 3,500 linear feet of the existing Lyster Road right-of-way, the installation of utility lines (telecommunications, underground electric, potable and recycled water), as well as surface grading, installation of culverts, and the construction of a larger detention basin for storm water management. Working cooperatively with the CLIENT, this project was funded by the City of San Antonio (COSA) through the 2017 Bond Program. As such, the project fell under the jurisdiction of Chapter 35 of the COSA Unified Development Code (UDC), as well as the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT) (Texas Natural Resource Code, Title 9, Chapter 191), by virtue of it representing a public undertaking. Furthermore, the undertaking will required a Preconstruction Notification under Nationwide Permit 43, Stormwater Management Facilities. As such, the project also fell under the jurisdiction of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (16 United States Code 470) and it’s implementing regulations (36 Code of Federal Regulation 800).
On September 19 and 20, 2018, RKEI archaeologists conducted an intensive pedestrian survey augmented with both shovel testing and backhoe trenching for the 34.95 acres of Brooks City Base associated with this project. Antonio E. Padilla, M.A. served as Principal Investigator and all field work was conducted by Archaeologists Jason M. Whitaker and Kirsten M. Atwood. A total of 19 shovel tests were excavated, as well as two backhoe trenches within the project area: five shovel tests (ST-13-18) and two backhoe trenches (BHT 1-2) in the southwest section of the APE, one in the southeastern section (ST-12) a planned shovel test (ST-18) was not excavated due to standing water, five in the northeast section (ST-6-9 and 10) a planned shovel test (ST-10) was not excavated due to standing water, and eight in the northwest section (ST-1-5 and ST-19-21). Asphalt fragments were observed in several of these shovel tests (ST-4, 16, 19, and 21), which were most likely fragments from utility roads associated with the former Brooks Air Force Base and were not considered culturally significant. As such, none of the shovel tests or backhoe trenches were positive for subsurface cultural materials. The pedestrian survey did, however, document numerous above ground structures associated with the former Brooks Air Force Base FamCamp and other associated camping facilities.
Overall, no significant prehistoric or historic materials or features were encountered within the Area of Potential Effects (APE). Given this conclusion, no significant cultural deposits will be impacted by the proposed project, and RKEI recommends no further archaeological investigations for the current APE. However, should additions be made to the project area, it is recommended that additional testing be conducted to determine the extent and significance of cultural deposits beyond the currently defined boundaries. All field records generated by this project will be permanently curated at the University of Texas at San Antonio Center for Archaeological Research (UTSA-CAR).
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