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An Intensive Archaeological Survey for the Benton City Water Supply Corporation Project, Medina County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
In accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act and the Antiquities Code of Texas, GTI conduct an intensive archaeological survey of the proposed survey for the Benton City Water Supply Corporation Project in Medina County, Texas (Project). The archaeological survey followed the Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) Minimum Archaeology Survey Standards for Texas and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation. The County, in conjunction with the Benton City WSC, proposes to install approximately 17,000 Linear feet (LF) of 6 inch water line, 98 LF of bore with steel casing, valves and fittings, service reconnections, 2 first-time water service yard lines, pavement and driveway repair and all associated appurtenances. The waterline replacement project will be taking place within existing rights-of-way (ROW) of FM 3176 and County Roads 7714 and 7611. FM 3176 crosses Chacon Creek via a bridge. Directional boring shall be used to install this segment of water line and there shall be no new ground disturbance between the two bridge abutments. At San Francisco Creek, the line will also be bored due to the existing culvert structure installed years ago. This project description constitutes the Project’s direct Area of Potential Effects (APE). The THC, however, stated in its letter dated June 20, 2014: “[THC]…believes that the only areas with the potential to contain intact archaeological deposits are the locations on either side of the creeks (San Francisco Perez and Chacon). Specifically, the bore shafts on both sides of the creeks need to be examined to the depth that will be excavated to complete the directional drill. This may requires the use of backhoe trenches. All other lines within current rights-of-way do not require survey.” Based on the Minimum Archaeological Survey Standards for Texas and the 2014 Soil Series, it was GTI Principal Investigator’s (PI) opinion that shovel testing was an appropriate Level of Effort to assess the Project’s impact to potential archaeological sites and backhoe trenching was not necessary. GTI justified its reasons in the antiquities permit application, and THC issued antiquities permit number 7006. GTI’s PI conducted the archaeological survey on September 4, 2014.
GTI excavated a total of 12 shovel tests and documented one soil profile column, and there was no evidence of significant archaeological sites within the intensive archaeological survey area. Because the Project’s direct Area of Potential Effect (APE) is the water line construction length of 17, 000 linear feet, GTI conducted the survey as agreed upon in consultation between THC and Grant Works, Inc. and Medina County, as well as documented a reconnaissance archaeological survey level effort beyond the prescribed 1000 feet on both sides of the creeks at no expense to the project sponsor. GTI’s PI did not observe any cultural artifacts on the ground surface within the reconnaissance survey area, and ground surface visibility was greater than 30 percent.
Accordingly, GTI has assessed that the proposed Project will have No Effect to archaeological sites eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or worthy for State Antiquities Landmark designation. Archaeologists did not collect artifacts, so there are no curation issues. It is GTI’s opinion that no further archeological work is necessary and the project should be allowed to proceed as planned.
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