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Agency

Texas Historical Commission

Abstract

On behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey on January 3, 2018, of 111.45 acres of existing right-of-way (ROW) along State Highway (SH) 34 at the Kings Creek in Kaufman County, Texas. As the project will receive funding from the Federal Highways Administration, it qualifies as an undertaking as defined in Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 800.16(y); therefore, the archeological survey 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). Jon Budd served as Principal Investigator under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 8225.

The area of potential effects (APE) is defined as the existing SH 34 TxDOT ROW between 120 to 330 feet (36.6 to 100.6 meters [m]) wide beginning at County Road 4094 and extending 3.22 miles northeast to Farm-to-Market Road 1388. Depth of construction impacts are typically 4 feet (1.20 m), with a maximum of 30 feet (9.14 m). The APE consists of approximately 111.45 acres.

Background research identified three previous cultural resources surveys that cross the APE, but no archeological sites, recorded landmarks, cemeteries, National Register of Historic Places districts or properties, or historical markers were identified within or immediately adjacent to the project area. The nearest site, 41KF74, is a sparse prehistoric lithic scatter located approximately 0.4 mile south of the proposed project’s southern terminus. Two potentially historic structures were identified just beyond the APE during the historic map review.

The existing ROW has been extensively modified by the construction of SH 34, numerous existing overhead and buried utilities, intersecting roadways, ditches, driveways, and major flood control structures, such as levees and channelized drainages. Since much of the area is a wide, low-lying alluvial setting, fill sections elevating the roadway above the floodplain are pervasive throughout the APE.

The field investigation consisted of a pedestrian survey of the entire APE augmented with nine shovel tests along adjacent terraces and seven backhoe trenches at drainage crossings. Fill sections and buried utilities, including fiber optic lines on both sides of the APE, precluded subsurface investigations in many areas. The pedestrian survey, along with shovel tests and backhoe trenches, identified no cultural materials or features within the project APE. The cumulative impacts from the roadway and existing utilities, as well as frequent inundation, indicate a negligible potential for intact archeological resources within the APE.

SWCA made a reasonable and good faith effort per 36 CFR Part 800.4(b)(1) to identify and locate prehistoric and historic archeological properties within the proposed project APE. The field investigation discovered no cultural resources; therefore, SWCA recommends that a finding of “no historic properties affected” be made for the current undertaking.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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