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Intensive Cultural Resources Survey of the Proposed 1.5-mile-long Kenney Fort Boulevard Extension Project, City of Round Rock, Williamson County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
At the request of CP&Y, and on behalf of the City of Round Rock, Texas, in coordination with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA) conducted an intensive cultural resources survey for the proposed 1.5-mile-long Kenney Fort Boulevard Extension Project in the City of Round Rock, Williamson County, Texas. The project consists of an expansion of Kenney Fort Boulevard with a 6-lane arterial roadway that would ultimately connect State Highway (SH) 45 to U.S. Highway (US) 79. In addition, the proposed project includes improvements to Gattis School Road from Meister Lane to Rusk Road and improvements at the existing SH 45 grade-separation. The total project area for cultural resource survey consists of approximately 42.1 acres, which includes 6.2 acres of existing right-of-way and 35.9 acres of additional right-of-way that would be required for the project. Of the 35.9 additional acres, 12.6 acres is currently owned by the State of Texas. The remaining 23.3 is being acquired from private owners (much of which has already been acquired by the City at-risk). In addition, a 0.2 acre of permanent drainage easement would also be acquired. It is anticipated that the depth of project impacts will generally be limited to 4 feet but in one isolated area along an approximately 500 foot long segment where the right-of-way slopes down from east to west the cut section on the east side will have a maximum depth of 8 feet. As the City of Round Rock is a political subdivision of the State of Texas, the project is subject to review and approval by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) under the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT); therefore, the work was conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 9390 and complied with requirements of the ACT.
A background literature and records review indicated that 18 previously recorded archaeological sites are present within a 1-mile radius of the project area, including one archaeological site (41WM1167) that intersects the project area. In addition to the records review, SWCA conducted a pedestrian survey, augmented with shovel testing, within the entire 1.5-mile-long project area. For linear projects, the THC/Council of Texas Archaeologists (CTA) survey standards require a minimum of 16 shovel tests per mile, or minimally 16 shovel tests per 100-foot-wide survey transect across the project area, with thorough documentation of all exceptions (e.g., disturbance, slope, and impervious surfaces) noted. Based on these standards, the project area required approximately 72 shovel tests. SWCA excavated a total of 92 shovel tests within the project area, exceeding the THC’s required survey standards. No cultural materials were identified on the ground surface or within any of the shovel tests excavated within the project area. During the current survey, SWCA found that 41WM1167 had been destroyed. No cultural materials were observed on surface or subsurface and the site has been impacted by industrial and residential construction. On June 7, 2007, the THC determined the site was not eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
In accordance with the ACT, SWCA made a reasonable and good faith effort to identify cultural resources within the project area. No archaeological sites were identified that meet the criteria for designation as a State Antiquities Landmark, per 13 Texas Administrative Code 26.12; therefore, SWCA recommends that no additional cultural resources investigations should be warranted within the project area, as currently defined.
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