Texas Historical Commission
SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA), at the request of Steger & Bizzell Engineering, Inc. (S&B), and on behalf of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Austin District, and the City of Llano, Texas, conducted intensive cultural resources survey of the proposed City of Llano Ranch Road (RR) 152 Pedestrian Sidewalk Improvements Project (CSJ: 0396-09-021). The proposed sidewalk would extend from approximately 0.085 mile (448.8 feet) east of Post Oak Street to 0.031 mile (163.7 feet) west of Mallone Street, just east of Flag Creek. As the project would occur on property owned by TxDOT and the City of Llano, both political subdivisions of the state, the project requires compliance with the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT). Archaeological field investigations required a Texas Antiquities Permit be issued by the Texas Historical Commission. SWCA conducted investigations under Antiquities Permit No. 7989 issued to Principal Investigator, Brandon S. Young. In anticipation of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting regulations and partial project funding provided by the Federal Highway Administration, the proposed project is also subject to review in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 USC 470) and its implementing regulations (36 CFR 800).
The planned 5- to 10-foot-wide concrete sidewalk would extend approximately 6,970 feet along the south side of RR 152 on the west side of the City of Llano, encompassing 5.69 acres. Construction would occur within existing RR 152 right-of-way, on City of Llano property, and within an easement on private property. A low water crossing at the proposed sidewalk’s crossing of Flag Creek near the eastern terminus of the planned sidewalk is also included in the project. The width of the permanent easement and temporary work area is approximately 30 feet. In summary, the direct area of potential effect (APE) for the project is approximately 6,970 feet long, 30 feet wide, extends a maximum depth of 2 feet below ground surface, and encompasses approximately 5.69 acres.
Investigations included a background literature review and an intensive pedestrian survey with shovel testing of the APE. The background review determined that no previously conducted cultural resources surveys or archaeological sites are located within or immediately adjacent to the APE. One archaeological site, two National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) historic districts, three NRHP properties, two historical markers, and three neighborhood survey properties are within 1 kilometer (km) of the APE, but removed from any potential impacts. The review of historical maps revealed numerous potentially historicage structures within and immediately adjacent to the APE, as well as within the 1-km study area.
Overall, the intensive pedestrian survey revealed areas of open pasture, city recreational areas, and residential housing adjacent to and traversed by the proposed sidewalk. Previous impacts to the project area include agricultural and residential activity, vegetation clearing, and the construction and maintenance of RR 152, including drainage improvements. During the intensive survey investigations, which comprised visual inspection and the excavation of 21 shovel tests within the APE, SWCA identified no surface or subsurface cultural materials.
In accordance with 33 Code of Federal Regulations 800.4, SWCA has made a reasonable and good faith effort to identify cultural resources within the APE. The field investigation discovered neither significant historic properties nor cultural resources as defined in the respective legislation; therefore, SWCA recommends that a finding of “no historic properties affected” be made for the current undertaking.
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