Management Considerations for Cultural Resources in Virginia Department of Transportation Rights of Way

Report No: 07-R19

Published in 2007

About the report:

At present, there are no clear guidelines for identifying and managing the wide variety of cultural resources within the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) highway rights of way. These resources include such elements as archaeological sites; military earthworks; early roadbeds; buildings; structures; and objects as diverse as 19th century turnpike milestones, Civil War monuments, stone boundary markers, and early waysides. This project identified the types of cultural resources that can be encountered in the VDOT rights of way, identified pertinent governing legislation and management issues, and developed written guidelines for managing these resources. Brief case studies are included of examples of issues involving cultural resources and examples of resolutions of these issues. The guidelines and case studies can be used by cultural resource personnel; administrators; environmental specialists; inspectors; contractors; and crew members associated with local headquarters, residencies, and district and central offices alike. They are applicable not only to historic (i.e., eligible for the National Register of Historic Places) sites and structures but also to items of local importance and interest. It is envisioned that the guidelines, while having obvious statewide application, could have national application. The benefits of this project are the identification and description of the types of cultural resources that can be encountered in VDOT rights of way, their governing legislation, and written guidelines for managing these resources. This descriptive information and guidelines streamline the environmental and cultural planning and management processes while facilitating VDOT personnel and contractors to act as responsible stewards of these cultural resources and to adhere to the legislative and regulatory requirements governing their treatment. Use of the descriptions and guidelines will also help VDOT personnel and contractors to avoid violating state and national statutes and misidentification or unnecessary damage to cultural resources. Avoiding such violations, misidentification, and/or damage will result in minimizing personnel time and costs and avoiding project delays.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.

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Last updated: November 25, 2023

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