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20 In Ohio, it is standard operating procedure to not conduct ROW. In such situations, the FHWA, DOT, and SHPO exe- archaeological surveys on large-scale or complex projects cute a project-specific programmatic agreement, before issu- until a preferred alternative is identified. Rather, a historic ing the ROD, stipulating how archaeological investigations context is developed on the area encompassing all of the are to be performed. alternatives, focusing on the identification of potential fatal flaws in the alternatives. The historic context is based on a TxDOT finds it difficult to complete all National Register comprehensive literature study and records review. The DOT eligibility evaluations before issuing a FONSI. The DOT's has found that doing archaeology in a broad corridor or for policy is to decline to do testing until landowners agree to multiple alternatives is too costly, and that it is rare to find a relinquish artifacts found during fieldwork. Otherwise field- significant site requiring a major shift during the NEPA work takes place after ROW purchase. For EISs, the agency analysis or project design. The DOT found that other envi- completes as much of the archaeological survey as possible ronmental issues had a greater impact on the NEPA and proj- within the limitations of rights of entry, and may complete ect design process. The Virginia DOT has an agreement with the inventory after the ROD. Again, this is done because of its SHPO that recognizes the departments' discretion to con- issues associated with access to private property. As a result, duct archaeological surveys only on the preferred corridor TxDOT often conducts noninvasive assessments of alterna- when projects involve the analysis of multiple alternatives. tives and uses this information to evaluate the relative The DOT takes this position because in Virginia archaeolog- impacts to archaeological resources. ical resources do not typically influence corridor selection and minor alignment shifts during design can avoid many The North Carolina DOT attempts to conduct National significant archaeological sites. Register evaluations as early as possible in the NEPA and project design processes. The agency does these evaluations Some DOTs and FHWA division offices use archaeolog- on all alternatives subjected to detailed study to adequately ical predictive modeling to evaluate multiple alternatives on evaluate the impacts of the alternatives. The DOT conducts large projects. This is done because of the expense of con- this work up front to avoid having to redesign projects to ducting archaeological surveys of multiple alternatives. The miss significant sites, which in turn avoids remobilization to results of these modeling efforts (and field testing of the do more archaeology on newly included areas resulting from models) are used to evaluate the potential of all alternatives these design changes. The agency works to avoid National to affect archaeological resources. Instead of using predic- Register eligible sites during project development; therefore, tive models, some DOTs perform a sample survey of each they need to know where these sites are. The DOT does not of the alternatives to document the potential of each alter- want to make changes in design that end up avoiding non- native to contain significant archaeological resources. As significant sites. with predictive modeling, the results of the sample survey are used to compare the potential affects of each alternative. As an example of an effective practice that links archaeo- Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group, Inc., from logical field investigations to ongoing project design, the Michigan, noted that in its state, modeling is used to predict New Hampshire DOT meets with the SHPO and FHWA the number and types of archaeological resources within once or twice each month. If a project design is being per- alternatives. In addition, they conduct deep testing of major formed in-house, DOT highway or bridge design staff par- water crossings where there is a potential for buried sites. ticipates in these meetings. If a consultant is responsible for Full identification surveys do not occur until the preferred the design, the consultant also attends. Archaeological con- alternative is selected. sultants may also be invited. Having these meetings as part of the ongoing design effort allows the DOT to determine Several eastern DOTs postpone archaeological investiga- how to deal with archaeologically sensitive areas early in the tions until after the issuance of a FONSI or a Record of Deci- project delivery process. The agency can also examine avoid- sion (ROD) for an EIS because of private property issues and ance strategies and evaluate the need for phased archaeolog- the high cost of conducting comprehensive surveys in heav- ical investigations. ily wooded or agricultural areas. For example, in Pennsylva- nia, alternatives usually cross private lands and, if FHWA and DOT conduct any archaeological testing, recovered SUMMARY materials belong to private property owners. FHWA and the SHPO (and tribes when prehistoric sites are involved) want Several survey responses discussed how internal business to avoid situations where materials are returned to property practices can affect the quality and effectiveness of archaeo- owners. This, in addition to cost, is the reason why predictive logical investigations. These practices include the structure modeling is used to evaluate alternatives in Pennsylvania. of consultant contracting, funding of SHPO positions, and For EISs, FHWA and PennDOT conduct archaeological the way in which archaeological investigations are integrated fieldwork only after they have identified the preferred alter- into project design and the NEPA decision-making process. native. In some cases, however, survey and testing work is For example, many DOTs use outside consultants to conduct conducted after the issuance of the ROD and purchase of the archaeological investigations. Some DOTs noted that having
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21 on-call or master contracts with consultants resulted in rapid Several DOTs fund project review positions within their initiation of projects with minimal administrative paperwork. respective SHPOs as a means to streamline the review of Others, however, felt that the use of outside consultants, as archaeological projects. Both SHPOs and DOTs are pleased opposed to in-house staff, reduced the close interaction with the results, which include reduced project review time, between project designers and archaeologists and lessened more consistent access to SHPO staff throughout the project the ability to quickly respond to changing project needs. planning process, and improved communication and rela- Using in-house staff resulted in more consistency in work tionships between the agencies. Another internal business products and streamlined communication between archaeol- practice that streamlines project delivery is effective integra- ogists, project engineers, and planners. A few DOTs use tion of archaeological investigations with the NEPA and universities or other sister state agencies to conduct archae- project design process. Although how this integration is ological investigations. The benefits of this approach specifically accomplished varies from state to state, a com- included increased flexibility, decreased administrative and mon approach is the use of phased archaeological survey and contractual burdens, and consistency in work. identification.