USACE Cultural Investigations to Continue for Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Project in Port Arthur, Freeport and Orange County

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published May 10, 2021

The Swift River Versar Joint Venture, under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Regional Planning and Environmental Center, began conducting field investigations on May 4, 2021, in the Port Arthur area. These investigations will begin on the western arm of the Jefferson County Drainage District No. 7 (DD7) levee near Taylors Bayou and will continue throughout the month of May, along the DD7 easement as well as on any properties in the Orange County and Freeport reaches for which additional rights-of-entry have been secured. It is anticipated that investigations in the Freeport area will begin in early to mid-June.

USACE is required under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, to identify and inventory all historic properties within the Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Project.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Real Estate Division, only those landowners who have signed rights-of-entry will be affected by these actions, and only a narrow segment of each parcel adjacent to the levee or proposed levee location will be impacted. The Joint Venture Team right-of-entry coordinator and the archaeological team will follow the stipulations of each signed right-of-entry. 

These field investigations focus on identifying the nature of each inventoried resource including, but not limited to: integrity, archaeological or historical context, content, and distribution. The investigation may also include subsurface testing. Expected equipment for completion of this work will be a crew with their handheld equipment (e.g., cameras, global positioning system units, shovels, and in the case of areas within or near the floodplain, backhoes). The discovery of culturally significant artifacts may require additional subsurface investigations within the project area. Any identified artifacts will be analyzed in the field and returned as close to their original location as possible. Any excavations conducted will be backfilled, and the surface will be returned as closely as possible to its original state.

The Swift River Versar Joint Venture initiated archaeological investigations in preparation for rehabilitation and construction of levees and sea walls in Jefferson, Orange, and Brazoria counties in June 2020. The field investigations were suspended in October of 2020 due to a lack of rights-of-entry access. Since October, the USACE Real Estate Division has obtained additional rights-of-entry access allowing the field investigations to resume.

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Francisco G. Hamm
2000 Fort Point Road, Galveston, TX 77550

Release no. 21-010