Alazán Creek Trail System Project, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas




Zapata, José E.

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


The University of Texas at San Antonio Center for Archaeological Research (CAR), in response to a request from RE/SPEC Company LLC (RESPEC), conducted archaeological testing and monitoring for the Alazán Creek Trail Project. The work was completed on behalf of the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) as part of the Westside Creeks Project. Multiple federal, state, and local agencies were involved, including the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the City of San Antonio (COSA) Office of Historic Preservation (OHP), and the Texas Historical Commission (THC). The Alazán Creek Trail Project consisted of two separate components. The first component was an Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (AAMPO) and COSA trail system that extends over three miles along the Alazán Creek, beginning at Lombrano Street continuing south to just north of S. Laredo Street. This first component was in part funded by the Federal Highway Administration administered by the Texas Department of Transportation. Projects receiving federal funding must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation of 1966, as amended, and its implementing regulations, 36 Code of Federal Regulations Part 800. In addition, a Section 404 permit of the Clean Water Act was granted to RESPEC in regard to any discharge into Alazán Creek. The project was assigned Project Number SWF-2017-413. This permit required consultation between RESPEC and the USACE. The work associated with the first component included background research of the project area, a pedestrian survey, shovel testing, and backhoe trenching of a 6.1 km (3.8 mile) long segment of a multi-use trail, with a 15.2 m (50 ft.) wide easement. The total area of the APE including the trail and trailheads is 1.9 hectares (4.7 acres). This work was completed between February 2018 and April 2018. The THC granted Dr. Paul Shawn Marceaux Texas Antiquities Permit (TAP) 8309 to conduct this component of the project. The second component was a COSA-funded package of trailheads, connections, landscaping, and amenities to enhance the connectivity of the trail system to the surrounding neighborhoods. COSA is defined as a political subdivision under the Antiquities Code of Texas, Section 191.003(4). As such, the project was obligated to consider the impacts that it would have on known and unknown historic properties. In addition, under COSA’s Unified Development Code, Chapter 35, the city is required to consider the impact to known or potential archaeological sites and/ or deposits and to avoid or mitigate those effects. The second component involved CAR monitoring construction for street-level trailheads and trail connectors. The second component occurred at irregular intervals between March 2020 and July 2021. THC granted Dr. Marceaux TAP 8310 to conduct this component of the project. The project archaeologist was José Zapata. Leonard Kemp stepped in as Principal Investigator upon the departure of Dr. Marceaux. No new sites or features were recorded by CAR during the pedestrian survey, shovel testing, backhoe trenching, or monitoring. However, during mechanical grading, two large historic trash deposits were uncovered and reported to CAR by SpawGlass. CAR documented the first deposit as an early twentieth century trash midden designated 41BX2433. CAR consulted with THC and the OHP, who allowed the contractor to proceed with construction. A search of CAR records failed to find any documentation that we consulted with the USACE concerning 41BX2433. CAR recommends that the remaining portion of 41BX2433 is eligible for inclusion to NRHP and as SAL based on Criteria D under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The property and associated materials are likely to contribute to our knowledge of the twentieth century West Side community. CAR recommends avoidance. If this is not possible, CAR recommends that a mitigation plan be developed and implemented to gather significant data.



Alazán Creek, archaeology, San Antonio, Bexar County


Zapata, J.E. (2023). Alazán Creek Trail System Project, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. Archaeological Report, No. 496. The Center for Archaeological Research, The University of Texas at San Antonio.