Right-of-Way Cultural Resources Survey

Right-of-Way Cultural Resources Survey

Location: Texas

Client: Oncor Electric Delivery Co. LLC

Completion Date: 2013

Burns & McDonnell archaeologists conducted a cultural resources survey of a 165-mile long, 160-foot wide, right-of-way through portions of Wilbarger, Wichita, Montague, Clay, Wise and Denton counties, Texas. Twenty-eight archaeological sites were investigated during the project, of which 26 were newly documented and two had been previously recorded. Nineteen of the sites investigated were historic, which were primarily farmsteads or habitation sites.

One of the historic sites also had a prehistoric component of unknown cultural affiliation. Seven other sites had prehistoric components, including five that were unknown cultural affiliation, one with a Late Archaic to Woodland occupation, and the seventh dating to the Early Archaic. Other historic resources documented for the project included a trail of unknown cultural affiliation, an unidentified gravesite and a family cemetery. It was determined that the portions of the archaeological sites within the ROW were not eligible for the State Archeological Landmark or National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

Several areas of high probability for archaeological sites were located in the floodplains of the numerous streams crossed. With the high degree of erosion in the area, these stream valleys are filled with deep deposits of post-settlement alluvium. The depth of these alluvial deposits is greater than the 80-centimeter vertical limit for shovel testing outlined in the research design. It was therefore recommended that an archaeologist monitor areas selected for construction of the new towers proposed within these alluvial settings and on sand-capped uplands overlooking the Red River.

  • Archaeological site probability study
  • Archival research of historic land use and settlement
  • Cultural resources site detection survey
  • Construction monitoring for possible buried cultural resources
  • Compliance report

Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC proposed to rebuild an existing 345-kV single-circuit 165-mile long transmission line across portions of Wilbarger, Wichita, Montague, Clay, Wise and Denton counties, Texas. Burns & McDonnell was contracted to conduct the archaeological investigation to comply with Texas state compliance regulations and guidelines.

Background Research

  • Online research of known archaeological sites and previous investigations
  • Archival research of the local history, including trails and historic events in the area that may pertain to the project area
  • Online review of historic structures and forms on file with THC
  • Review of online historic maps, census records and other archives
  • Review of available historic records and publications; primary and secondary sources
  • Preparation of text describing and maps showing archaeological site probability areas for field investigations

Field Work

  • Cultural resources survey of the 164-mile corridor
  • Review of land records at county courthouses
  • Preparation of Construction Monitoring Plan
  • Construction monitoring

Document Preparation

  • Site forms for 28 sites investigated
  • Preparation of cemetery documentation
  • Preparation of monitoring report
  • Preparation of cultural resources report