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Cultural Resources Investigations for the CPS Energy Broadway-Jones Avenue Gas Main Replacement Project, Bexar County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
Raba Kistner Environmental, Inc. (RKEI), was contracted by CPS Energy (CPSE) to conduct cultural resources investigations for the CPSE Broadway-Jones Gas Main Replacement Project in northeastern San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The project involved the excavation of a 630 foot (192 meter [m]) trench for the relocation of a gas main within the 10th Street and Avenue B right-of-ways (ROWs). A cultural resources review conducted by the CPSE Archaeologist determined that the project had the potential to encounter a possible desague, or lateral, of the Acequia Madre. Furthermore, close proximity to the San Antonio River, located 150 feet (46 m) to the northwest, increased the probability of encountering prehistoric cultural deposits. Based on this information, the CPSE Archaeologist determined that cultural resources monitoring would be required for all 630 feet (192 m) of excavations associated with the project.
Given that the project took place within a publicly owned ROW and because CPSE is a political subdivision of the State of Texas, the project was subject to review under the jurisdiction of Chapter 35 of the Unified Development Code (UDC) of the City of San Antonio (COSA), as well as the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT). Rhiana D. Ward served as Principal Investigator and Project Manager for the duration of the project, and all field work was conducted by Project Archaeologist Chris Matthews.
Cultural resources monitoring investigations for the Broadway-Jones Gas Main Replacement Project were conducted on February 7-8, 19-23, and 25, 2019. Disturbed soils were observed throughout most of the 10th Street ROW, as well as a majority of the Avenue B ROW. However, two features were recorded at the northeastern end of the APE, within the Avenue B ROW. No intact deposits of cultural deposits were observed.
Feature 1, recorded as archaeological site 41BX2308, is a limestone feature, approximately 286 feet (87 m) northeast of the 10th Street – Avenue B intersection. A restricted 1852 overlay map provided by the COSA Office of Historic Preservation depicts a possible lateral of the Acequia Madre as intersecting the APE, approximately 20 feet (6 m) southwest of Feature 1. It is possible that Feature 1 represents the remnants of the desague, however, the small section of exposed alignment does not provide enough supporting evidence to definitively associate the feature to the projected lateral ditch. Furthermore, although the limestone material and rough cut construction of the stones suggests an early construction, no cultural materials were observed that would support a temporal age range for the feature. Additional work may be warranted for any future ground disturbing activities anticipated within the vicinity of site 41BX2308 in order to determine the horizontal extent of the feature, and to provide additional information as to the function and temporal affiliation of the site. Based on the current investigations, RKEI recommends site 41BX2308 as eligibility undetermined for designation to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) or as a State Antiquities Landmark (SAL).
Feature 2, recorded as archaeological site 41BX2309, likely represents a remnant of the 1887 Texas Transportation Company Railroad rail bed. The feature consisted of two metal I-beam rails set on top of an aggregate concrete slab and capped with a separate layer of angular aggregate that likely represents the dismantling of the Texas Transportation Company Railroad in the early 2000s. No further work is recommended for site 41BX2309, and RKEI recommends the site as not eligible for designation to the NRHP or as a SAL.
RKEI made a reasonable and good faith effort to identify cultural resources within the given APE. As such, RKEI recommends no further archaeological investigations for the current APE. However, should additions be made to the APE, additional cultural resources investigations may be required. The project adhered to a temporally diagnostic artifact collection only policy. No artifacts were collected during the course of the investigations, thus, no artifacts will be curated at the completion of the project. All field records generated by this project will be permanently curated at the Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
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