Texas Historical Commission
On behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an intensive archeological survey on January 4, 2018, of 58.7 acres along and between Farm-to-Market Road (FM) 148 and U.S. Route (US) 175 in Kaufman County, Texas. 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 (CFR) 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). Kevin Hanselka served as Principal Investigator under Texas Antiquities Code Permit No. 8246.
The total area of potential effects (APE) comprises the existing 23.5 acres of state right-ofway (ROW), the 33 acres of proposed new ROW, and the 2.2 acres of proposed drainage easement within the project limits. The project extends approximately 1.6 miles from US 175 to the existing FM 148 near its crossing with Anthony Branch. The depth of impact is anticipated to be restricted to the surface for the majority of the project; however, specific areas within the APE will require mechanical grading, installation of bridge support piers, and the placement of box culverts. The areas with the deepest anticipated subsurface disturbance include the proposed culverted crossing of Anthony Branch and the US 175 main lane bridge spanning the FM 148 Bypass.
Background research did not identify any previously recorded cultural resources within the current APE, or any previously identified cultural resources within a 0.6-mile (1-kilometer) radius of the proposed APE. However, during the historic maps review, SWCA identified a historic railroad bed that intersects the northern portion of the APE. Modern aerial maps show that neither the railroad nor the railroad bed currently exist within the APE. The historic map review also identified four potential historic structures adjacent to the existing FM 148 ROW. Three of the four structures are still standing, but all are outside of the APE and should not be affected by the proposed construction and road improvements.
SWCA conducted field investigations in compliance with the Texas Historical Commission Archeological Survey Standards, and this document was produced consistent with the Council of Texas Archeologists guidelines for reporting. The field investigation of the proposed project APE consisted of an intensive pedestrian survey with limited shovel testing and backhoe trenching for deep testing of cultural materials, where access had been granted. SWCA has made a reasonable and good faith effort to locate and identify historic properties as per 36 CFR Part 800.4(b)(1), and cultural resources as per Subchapter A of Chapter 26 of the Texas Administrative Code, throughout the proposed project APE in which access was possible. 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 APE. However, once access is granted, intensive archeological survey is recommended on a proposed survey area on the northern end of the APE to which access is presently denied, in order to address its potential for historic resources.
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