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SR-76 Improvement Project

SR-76Cultural MonitoringHELIX Environmental Planning (HELIX) is in the second phase of construction monitoring for the SR-76 East Segment road improvements project in the Cities of Fallbrook and Bonsall in northern San Diego County.  Phase 1 construction involved the SR-76/I-15 Interchange; this work was conducted between October 2012 and the summer of 2013.  Phase 2 construction involves widening, realignment, and improvements to the roadway between South Mission Road and I-15 to construct it as a four-lane highway.  Work on Phase 2 began in November 2014 and is expected to take approximately three years to complete. The SR-76 East Segment project is in an area that is quite sensitive in terms of cultural resources and has a number of cultural resources identified in Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs).  In particular, the SR-76/I-15 Interchange is in proximity to known significant cultural resources that are of great importance to the Luiseño people.  The San Luis Rey River corridor is of cultural importance, in addition to the numerous archaeological resources (both historic and prehistoric) in the area.  Additionally, given the project’s proximity to the river, much of the project includes alluvial soils which exhibit a strong potential for buried (unrecorded) cultural resources.  HELIX archaeological monitors are present to observe construction-related activities within and adjacent to all cultural ESAs, including activities related to biological and other environmental mitigation issues, such as the placement of wildlife exclusion fencing.  They work closely with Caltrans field personnel, the construction contractor, and Native American monitors.  HELIX also coordinates with Caltrans Environmental Branch personnel, including provision of weekly reports to the staff archaeologist for the project.  To date, no previously unrecorded cultural resources have been identified, and no adverse impacts to cultural resources have occurred.