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Cultural Resources

A records search of the New Mexico Cultural Resource Information System (NMCRIS) database was completed to obtain information on all previously conducted surveys and previously documented archaeological sites and historic resources located within the study area. The literature review of the study area was defined as extending 1,640 feet in all directions from the roadway corridor. Shape files were obtained for all previous investigations and documented cultural resources in the study area. Current listings of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties were also consulted to determine the presence of any registered properties or districts within the study area. 

Cultural resources—particularly the historic built environment—are expected to be study concerns. A search of the NMCRIS database indicates that 50 previously documented historic cultural property inventory (HCPI) properties (historic built environment), five archeological sites, and four NRHP-listed properties are located within about 1,640 feet of the study corridor. The four register-listed properties include the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Depot, Shafer Hotel, Mountainair Municipal Auditorium, and Willard Mercantile Company building. One of these—the Willard Mercantile Company —is located directly along the north side of US 60 in central Mountainair and could require management as part of the study.  

None of the five previously documented archaeological sites intersect the study’s area of potential effect. Based on the condition of the US 60 right-of-way, it is not anticipated that new archaeological sites would be discovered along the study corridor.  

 HCPI properties in the study vicinity include 49 historic buildings and one linear resource—the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway, which is located southeast of the study corridor. Thirty of the 49 historic buildings are located along US 60. The eligibility status of these buildings is currently unknown, and additional background research is required to determine whether updates or additional documentation of these buildings would be necessary during the study. In addition to the previously documented buildings, analysis of aerial imagery and historical maps/photographs suggest that 25 to 30 additional historic buildings that have not been previously documented may be located along the study corridor. It is also possible that other historic structures or  

objects are present along the study corridor, including Works Progress Administration-constructed sidewalks and historic highway markers.  

Potential management concerns associated with the Study may include the need to reduce/minimize vibratory effects to adjacent historic buildings along the Study corridor. This may necessitate the use of low-vibratory equipment in areas with dense concentrations of historic buildings in the center of Mountainair. It is also possible that design considerations will need to be implemented to preserve historic sidewalks or other items along the corridor, and the NMDOT and/or New Mexico Historic Preservation Division may recommend evaluating the cluster of buildings in Mountainair as a potential historic district. 

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