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Cultural Resources Report For The Mission Road Archaeological Scraping Project, Bexar County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
The City of San Antonio (COSA) Public Works Department retained Pape-Dawson Engineers, Inc. to conduct cultural resource investigations for proposed road improvements along Mission Road and Acequia Road (i.e., the Project) within San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The Project consists of the installation of brick pavers and continuous illumination assemblies, electrical service, and underground infrastructure along both sides of Mission Road from SE Military Drive to the San Antonio River and along Acequia Road from Mission Road to Ashley Road. The added alternate to the Project includes the construction of a shared-use path along the east side of Mission Road from SE Military Drive through Stinson Airport, sidewalk along both sides of Mission Road from Cadmus Street (99th Street) to Acequia Road, sidewalk along the east side of Mission Road from Acequia Road to the San Antonio River, and sidewalk along the west side of Acequia Road from Mission Road to Ashley Road. A culvert system located mid-block along Mission Road will be removed, widened and extended, and replaced within the existing right-ofway (ROW). Existing underground utilities (water and sewer) will require surface adjustments to meter boxes, valve boxes, and manholes. One sewer cleanout may require both horizontal and vertical adjustments due to movement over time. As a result of the proposed improvements described above, modifications to surface drainage ditches and driveways will be required to maintain proper movement of surface runoff.
As the Project is located within the COSA city limits and River Improvement Overlay District 6, the Project requires compliance with local regulations. At the municipal level, the Project must comply with Article 6, Historic Preservation and Urban Design, of the Unified Development Code (§ 35-630 to 35-634) as implemented by the COSA Office of Historic Preservation (COSA OHP). In addition, the proposed Project is within ROW owned by the City, a political subdivision of the state of Texas, which requires compliance with the Antiquities Code of Texas as implemented by the Texas Historical Commission (THC). No federal permitting or funding is anticipated for the Project; therefore, compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act is not necessary. Should any human remains and/or an abandoned or unknown cemetery be encountered during the Project, the Project will also comply with Chapters 711 and 715 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
All proposed improvements will be located within existing Mission Road and Acequia Road ROWs measuring 18 acres (7.3 hectares [ha]) (Project Area). The Project Area includes a total of 2.1 miles (3.4 kilometers) of existing Mission Road and Acequia Road ROWs. Depths of impact are anticipated to vary across the Project Area, ranging from approximately 1 to 3 feet (0.3 to 0.9 meter [m]) apart from the extension of the culvert mid-block along Mission Road, where the depth of impact is not anticipated to exceed 6 feet (1.8 m). In consultation with the COSA OHP and THC, a portion of the Project Area located between two historic-age cemeteries was targeted for the field investigation (Field Investigation Area). The total Field Investigation Area measures 2.4 ac (1 ha) along 1,777 feet (541.6 linear meters) of the Mission Road corridor, specifically between San Jose Burial Park and Mission Burial Park. Cultural resources investigations consisted of a program of archaeological trenching along the eastern and western sides of the ROW within an area proposed for decorative pavers and sidewalk/shared-used pathways. No archaeological investigations were conducted for proposed driveway improvements, utility surface adjustments, or the culvert box location within the Field Investigation Area, as this construction will be located within areas extensively disturbed by past improvements below the level of anticipated discovery. Additionally, the proposed improvements will have limited vertical impacts at this location.
Archaeological trenching of the Project Area occurred between March 18 and 19, 2019, (east side of Mission Road), and again between May 4 and 6, 2020, (west side of Mission Road). Nesta Anderson and Zachary Overfield served as the Principal Investigators for the respective fieldwork dates and were assisted by archaeologists Jacob Sullivan, James Moore, Melanie Nichols, and Lily Camara. A total of 16 trenches were excavated during fieldwork in accordance with a research design initially approved by the COSA OHP on January 28, 2019 and by the THC on January 29, 2019, under Texas Antiquities Permit 8748. Amendments to the permit were approved by the COSA OHP April 28, 2020 and by the THC on May 4, 2020.
The trenching investigations did not result in the documentation of any archaeological sites, nor evidence of human remains or graves within the Field Investigation Area. Based on the results of these investigations, no historic properties will be affected by the Project and no further work is recommended. All records associated with the Project will be curated at the University of Texas at San Antonio Center for Archaeological Research (UTSA-CAR).
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