Laredo, Texas, a gateway community on the Texas borderlands: archaeological and historical investigations for the Laredo city toll plaza




Folan, William J.
Cox, I. Waynne
Fox, Anne A.
Hinojosa, Gilberto M.

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Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio


In July 1980, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR), The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), entered into a contract with the City of Laredo, through Paul Garza and Associates, Consulting Engineers (P. Garza, letter dated Jul y 3, 1980), to conduct excavations at the site destined to become the Laredo City Toll Plaza. The investigations were done in compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended) and its implementing regulations, 36 CFR 800, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and Executive Order 11593. This complex is to be constructed at the approach to the New International Bridge spanning the Rio Grande between the United States and the Republic of Mexico. The construction area had been cleared of all standing architecture prior to the start of the project. All that remained in the area selected for investigation were subsurface foundations of the buildings which once occupied Block 12 of the Western Division of the City of Laredo (Fig. 1). The principal objective of this project was to salvage all possible historical and archaeological information from the site prior to the construction of the Toll Plaza Building. Although sufficient time was not available before excavation to conduct archival research on the area under investigation, Idys Waynne Cox was able to gather a considerable amount of pertinent material both during and subsequent to the field work. The areas selected for excavation had been chosen by Anne A. Fox (1980) during a June 17, 1980, visit to the site, and were subsequently confirmed as cultural resource areas by the current project. The test areas were chosen specifically because of their location adjacent to the San Agustin de Laredo Historic District. In addition, on-the-surface data indicated that the subsurface evidence of former structures was for the most part unaltered, and the areas were unhindered by piles of bulldozed building material. In sum, the project was carried out to document the history of the area under investigation. The recording of architectural and artifactual information was done to obtain the cultural and sequential history of the buildings under investigation prior to their destruction while also determining what activities took place in this area.



archaeological investigation, archaeology, Texas archaeology, Laredo, Laredo City Toll Plaza site