Texas Historical Commission
AmaTerra Environmental, Inc. (AmaTerra) conducted an archeological resource survey on behalf of New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) and their engineering contractor Freese and Nichols, Inc. (FNI) in advance of the Highway 46 West Water System Expansion Project in Comal County, Texas. NBU is proposing building one new pump station (half-acre), expanding capacity at an already existing pump station (half-acre), and installing new and upgrading existing waterlines between the two of them (approximately 3.5 miles) along the south side of State Highway (SH) 46. Because NBU is a political subdivision of the State of Texas, it is subject to the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT), requiring survey for archeological resources within the project footprint. All work was carried out to conform to 13 TAC 26, which outlines the regulations for implementing the ACT.
Fieldwork was conducted on October 18–19th, 2017 by AmaTerra under Antiquities Permit 8195. Fieldwork included a pedestrian survey with 100 percent surface inspection of the proposed construction easements supplemented with shovel testing at 100-meter intervals. Additional tests were placed in the proposed new pump station while the pump station expansion was visually inspected only. The surface was found to be vegetated with grasses and understory foliage with mesquite shrub, cedar and Live Oak trees in the more densely vegetated areas. Ground visibility ranged from 50 to 100 percent across the project area. A single prehistoric site, 41CM411, was newly recorded as part of the survey and consisted of a small, diffuse surficial lithic scatter. Two previously recorded sites (41CM47 and 41CM298) were revisited as part of the investigation as well. Site 41CM47 is a mid- to late nineteenth century historic structural complex known colloquially as the “Walzem Chapel” and 41CM298 consists of several surficial lithic scatters and a quarry site. AmaTerra recommends that no further work is necessary within the project footprint prior to construction, and the portions of the three sites within the proposed construction easements are recommended ineligible for listing as State Antiquities Landmarks (SAL). All notes and forms generated while conducting fieldwork will be curated at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory (TARL) in Austin, Texas.
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