Avondale Bridge Replacement on CR 5/02 over Dry Fork River, McDowell County, West Virginia

Services Provided:

ASC Group conducted a Phase I cultural resources survey for Avondale Bridge replacement on County Route 5/02 over Dry Fork River, McDowell County, West Virginia. The undertaking involves the construction a new bridge for CR 5/02 over Dry Fork River. The existing Avondale Bridge will be replaced with a new bridge either at the existing location or at an upstream or downstream location. The project area is in a rugged section of West Virginia, located in the southernmost county in the state.

The literature review indicated that there were no previously recorded archaeological sites in or adjacent to the project area, but one site and three previous surveys had been completed within 1 mile of the project area. No previously recorded architectural history resources or surveys are present within the Area of Potential Effects. The archaeological survey utilized a combination of visual inspection, shovel test pits, and auger coring to examine the project area. The residential front yard on the west side of CR 5/02 was the only testable area. The area was tested with four shovel test pits and two auger cores. The soils encountered indicated that the area has been impacted by modern road/bridge construction, residential activities, and frequent flooding. No artifacts or buried cultural materials were encountered in this area. No further archaeological work is recommended in the proposed project area.

The architectural history survey delineated an Area of Potential Effects (APE) based on potential visual effects resulting from the undertaking. Eight resources 50 years of age or older were identified within the APE. Architectural Location 06, the Dry Fork Branch of the Norfolk & Western Railroad (now Norfolk Southern), is recommended as eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) for its role in helping to open McDowell County to coal and lumber extraction in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The remaining architectural history resources lack significance and/or integrity and are recommended as not eligible.

Meadow River Trail Project, Fayette and Greenbrier Counties, West Virginia

Services Provided:

ASC Group conducted a Virginia spiraea survey in September 2017. WVDOH staff provided ASC with transportation to the sites. The field survey was conducted in 20 WVDNR predetermined Virginia spiraea study areas and within a proposed access road area. Photographs of the study areas investigated were provided.  Of the 21 study areas, one population of the Federally Threatened Virginia spiraea was identified during the survey. The population was located just beyond the limits of the Virginia spiraea Site 10 study area. Virginia spiraea was observed growing in cracks and crevices of large boulders located in the Meadow River. Approximately 20 patches of Virginia spiraea were observed growing in full sunlight. Each patch contained approximately 20 stems. None of the stems observed were in flower or fruit. The site was primarily free of competition from other plant species. Data was recorded on a Species Field Survey Form from the WV Natural Heritage Program and the location of the populations was recorded with a Trimble® Geo 7X handheld GPS with sub-meter accuracy.

The remaining sites that were investigated consisted of areas located along the banks of the Meadow River or along tributaries of the Meadow River. The access road was located along a wooded hill slope. Potential habitat was observed for Virginia spiraea at all the remaining sites except for the proposed access road study area. Negative Element Survey Forms from the WV Natural Heritage Program were prepared for the remaining sites.

US 41 Small Structure Replacement, Fountain County, Indiana

Services Provided:

ASC Group completed cultural and environmental resource surveys for the replacement of the US 41 small structure over an unnamed tributary (UNT) of Coal Creek in Fountain County, Indiana. The project proposed the construction of a new structure to re place existing structure. The project involved minimal roadway approach work. The new structure will include headwalls so the guardrail will also be replaced. A desktop review for aboveground resources was undertaken and no properties more than 50 years of age were identified within or adjacent to the project area.

The Section 106 process for this project is covered under the Minor Projects Programmatic Agreement (MPPA) dated January 24, 2017. US 41 small structure over an UNT of Coal Creek was constructed in the mid-twentieth century and did not exhibit non-modern wood, stone, or brick, or a context that suggests it might have historical significance. A Phase Ia Archaeological Short Report was completed and indicated that there were no archaeological sites within the project area. Records checks for cultural resources indicated that there were no aboveground or belowground properties listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) located adjacent to the project area. The project meets the criteria of Category B9. Under Category B of the MPPA, the project is not subject to consultation by INDOT cultural Resources Section, and further Section 106 consultation activities will not be necessary.

Because this project was subject to federal funding and approval, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 requires the evaluation of potential environmental impacts. A Level 1 Categorical Exclusion Document (CE1) was prepared. It documented the engineering and design details of the project, evaluated environmental impacts, and developed environmental commitments. There were no significant negative social, environmental, or economic (SEE) impacts expected based on the results of early coordination with federal, state, and local agencies, the field surveys that have been completed, the impact analysis detailed within the CE1, and the project’s classification as a Categorical Exclusion 1. The document was reviewed and approved by INDOT and FHWA.

 

I-65/I-70 Bridges and the North Split Project, Indianapolis, IN

Services Provided:

The project included improvement of the I-65/I-70 corridor through Indianapolis, Indiana. Reconfiguration of the current interstate corridor and associated bridges and culverts are the primary focus of this project.
ASC Group completed a historic properties survey for the Area of Potential Effect. Efforts to identify historic properties in the APE included a check of records available via the State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD), field work, and communication with consulting parties. The results of the field surveys were reported in a Historic Property Report (HPR). There are many notable historic properties within the APE, including two National Historic Landmarks (NHL), 27 resources individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), ten NRHP-listed historic districts within the APE including Old Northside, Massachusetts Avenue, and Chatham Arch historic neighborhoods. All NRHP-listed resources are automatically included in the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures (IRHSS); in addition, there are two individual resources and one district listed in the IRHSS. In addition, there are two resources previously identified as NRHP-eligible. ASC identified an additional seven individual resources and two districts that are recommended eligible.

 

New Drone Services Available

ASC Group has expanded its services to include photogrammetric mapping services.

We employ an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), or drone, to digitally photograph landscapes and landscape features ranging in size from 0.25 acres to 20 acres for state, municipal, and private clients. Flying predetermined flight paths and shooting sufficient high-resolution photographs to ensure approximately 75% overlap between the images allows our staff to create detailed three-dimensional landscape reconstructions and detailed orthomosaic maps. Photo data will be processed with third party software to develop unified reconstructions, which are incorporated into project deliverables. Detailed maps of archaeological sites, historic landscapes, or ecologically sensitive areas allow our clients to reduce their project’s effects on the environment.

IndyGo Red Line Bus Rapid Transit Project, Indianapolis, IN

Services Provided:

ASC Group completed Phase I archaeological surveys, an architectural resources survey, and a Phase II archaeological site evaluation for three Phases for the Red Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in the City of Indianapolis, Indiana. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) was the lead Federal Agency and the project involves over 35 miles of heavily urbanized street rights-of-way passing through central Indianapolis.

The Phase I archaeological surveys identified one archaeological resource that was recommended as potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). This resource was elements of the historic interurban rail system that was a prominent feature in ca. 1890-1930s Indiana. The surviving site elements were identify through ground penetrating radar surveys in historic rights-of-way. Phase II site evaluations of the rail system were completed in four locations along busy, multi-lane roadways in central Indianapolis. Each test excavation exposed and documented intact rail and rail bed sections, which were ultimately recommended not eligible for the NRHP. The Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and FTA concurred with the recommendations.

ASC Group completed a Historic Property Report for Phases 2 and 3 of the Red Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in Marion, Johnson, and Hamilton Counties, Indiana. The survey work identified 54 architectural resources, eight of which had been previously recorded, and two historic districts within or adjacent to the area of potential effect (APE). Of the 54 resources, one had been listed in the National Register of Historic Places and three of the previously recorded resources and two newly identified resources were recommended eligible as a result of the project. The Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and FTA concurred with the recommendations.

Portage-Marquette Trail, Porter County, Indiana

Services Provided:

ASC Group completed cultural resources and environmental surveys for the proposed Portage-Marquette Trail (Des. No. 1500704) in Portage, Porter County, Indiana. The project is located in Portage, Indiana, along Ameriplex Drive, Louis Sullivan drive, and Daniel Burnham drive. The project proposes construction of a new shared-use path and is part of the Indiana Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan 2016-2020. The new trail is a continuation and extension of the Marquette Greenway Trail, which is part of the Regional Trail System.

Cultural resources surveys included records checks, visual inspection, and photography. No archaeological sites were found during the records check and no additional archaeological work was recommended. A Historic Properties Report was prepared documenting the results of a survey which examined all buildings and structures within the APE. All buildings and structures 50 years of age or older were photographed, recorded on mapping, and evaluated for National Register of Historic Places eligibility. Twelve such properties were identified within the APE. No properties were recommended as eligible for the NRHP. The Section 106 process for this project is covered under the Minor Projects Programmatic Agreement (MPPA). INDOT Cultural Resources Section staff reviewed the data for the project and determined that the project fell under Category B-8. Under the MPPA, the project did not require further consultation. Because this project was subject to federal funding and approval, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 requires the evaluation of potential environmental impacts.

A Level 4 Categorical Exclusion Document (CE4) was prepared. It documented the engineering and design details of the project, evaluated environmental impacts, and developed environmental commitments. There were no significant negative social, environmental, or economic impacts expected based on the results of early coordination with federal, state, and local agencies, the field surveys that have been completed, the impact analysis detailed within the CE4, and the project’s classification as a Categorical Exclusion 4. The document was reviewed and approved by INDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

 

US 22 and PA 36 Intersection Improvements, Blair County, Pennsylvania

Services Provided:

The project consists of the widening of the US 22 and PA 36 intersection to improve the turning radius in the southeast quadrant of the intersection.  The property in the southeast quadrant is a total take and required a Phase I Archaeological Survey. The Phase I Archaeological Study in the southeast quadrant included field investigations, shovel test pits, 1-meter x 1-meter test units, background research, and site identification in the affected areas.  ASC Group documented the structure in the southeast quadrant on a Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Form and evaluated the potential eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

SR 422 and Ramona Road Intersection Improvements Project, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania

Services Provided

The proposed project is the widening of the intersection to add turning lanes on SR east and west bound, the removal of the access to Main Avenue from SR 422 east bound, the removal of access from Main Avenue to SR 422 west bound and the relocation of the Main Avenue and Ramona Road intersection to the south in Jackson Township, Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.  ASC conducted a wetlands investigation of the project area in accordance with Publication 325, Wetlands Resource Handbook.  ASC completed multiple Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Forms and evaluated the potential eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  The Phase I Archaeological Study included field investigations, shovel test pits, back- ground research, and site identification in the affected areas.

 

Wilmore Borough Flood Control Project, Cambria County, Pennsylvania

Services Provided:

The project consists of the proposed construction of a levee system to protect Wilmore Borough from flooding of the North Branch Little Conemaugh River and the Little Conemaugh River. The initial phase of the project involved the completion of a geomorphology survey.  Based on those results, a Phase I Archaeological Survey in the project areas was needed. The Phase I Archaeological Survey consisted of a series of 1-meter x 1 -meter test units.  ASC Group documented the Phase I Archaeological Survey results on standardized forms and evaluated archaeological resources potential eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.