Utica Monitoring Project

PAF completed a monitoring project along Oriskany Boulevard (SR 5A) in the City of Utica for the New York State Department of Transportation (PIN 2326.14.321; Seib and Hohman 2020). The monitoring was conducted for the replacement and new construction of storm sewer (now separate storm and sanitary lines) and other buried utility lines mainly along SR 5A, and a series of storm water outfall lines extending toward the Mohawk River. The area along SR 5A was part of several alterations of the Erie Canal in the early to late 19th century. The project also identified several additional historic sites to the north and south of SR 5A.

Archaeological monitoring was conducted during backhoe excavations within and adjacent to SR 5A/ Oriskany Boulevard, and along outfall line locations. Monitoring was also conducted along SR 5A for the reconstruction of the roadway in areas where removal of the blacktop and road fill would be deeper than 50 cm (20 in). As per the monitoring and data recovery plan (Hohman 2017), asphalt, subbase, concrete, and fill soils were removed throughout the project area by the backhoe under the observation of an archaeologist in an attempt to find intact soil horizons or intact features. Archaeological monitoring focused on looking for intact precontact and historic features below fill soils.

A number of historic features were identified during excavations. Cultural features identified but not designated as sites include two box culverts, a wooden pipe, a brick paver, a possible stone outbuilding foundation fragment, and areas of Erie Canal fill. Archaeological sites identified during this monitoring include the Erie Canal Site (SUBi-3246), the Barnes Ave. 1 Site (SUBi-3248), the Barnes Ave. 2 Site (SUBi-3249), and the Durr Site (SUBi-3250). No precontact artifacts or features were identified within the project area.

The features and possible features associated with the Erie Canal are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. However, because of the limited impacts during the construction and removal of buried utilities and the previous disturbance, no further archaeological work was recommended within the project limits.

The other sites that were identified during the monitoring did not contain resources that were eligible for the National Register and no further work was completed on those sites.