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Chapter 10
Roadside Management and Maintenance: Beyond Vegetation
10.2. Protection of Historic and Other Cultural Resources

Federal and state laws provide varying levels of protection to historic properties and other cultural resources during routine maintenance work. Where federal funding is involved, the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act and other federal laws govern how certain types of cultural resources - historic properties eligible for the National Register of Historic Places - are treated. Other federal laws may apply in such circumstances as well. Where federal funding is not involved, State law, or standard operating procedures within State DOTs, often prescribes how to treat places and things that have historic and cultural importance. Specific laws often apply to specific types of resources, such as archaeological sites and human burial places. Even if no law applies, places of cultural and historic sensitivity are often of great importance to local people, and damaging them through maintenance work can spark controversy.

To protect cultural resources from such damage, and to be in compliance with relevant laws, maintenance planning should be coordinated with the DOT's historic preservation experts. Special attention should be given to maintenance activities off the pavement in rural areas, and within older commercial, industrial, and residential urban areas, as well as activities involving the use of or material sites, whether existing or new.

NYSDOT's environmental handbook for maintenance lists the following examples and practices: [N]

Example 15 : NYSDOT Maintenance Practices in Areas with Cultural Resources

Excavation and related work
Work areas are inspected and the DOT Cultural Resources Coordinator (CRC ) is contacted if 1 ) the ground looks as if it has never been disturbed, 2 ) you believe the area was the location of an early building or archaeological site, 3 ) you see building or foundation remains or if you find arrowheads, ceramics, bottles or other; or 4 ) If you find unusual whole or broken historic artifacts.

Work in front of a building greater than 50 years old
Notify the CRC before you remove any mature living trees, stone sidewalks, fence or walls, lights, or other landscape features near a building that appears to be over 50 years old. Such buildings may be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and the above mentioned features may contribute to the importance or historic value of the building.

Bridges
Many bridges that are greater than 50 years old have decorative railing or lighting. Before removing or replacing any features that could be considered historic, contact the CRC to determine which bridges are eligible to be or are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Buildings on state canal lands and canal features
For State Canal Systems eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places consult with State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation before altering or renovating these canal-related bridges, buildings or features.

Parkways
For Parkways eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. CRCs call before doing work that alter or remove features that may contribute to the character of these parkways, such as historic guide rail, lights, bridges, turf shoulders, stone curbing, medians, signs or landscape features.

Stream Corridors
Since stream corridors have been a powerful magnet for human settlement throughout history, it is not uncommon for historic and prehistoric resources to be buried by sediment or obscured by vegetation along stream corridors. It is quite possible to discover cultural resources during restoration implementation (particularly during restoration that requires earth-disturbing activities ).

 

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Table of Contents
 
Chapter 10
Roadside Management and Maintenance: Beyond Vegetation
10.1 Environmental Enhancement Practices and Partnership Efforts
10.2 Protection of Historic and Other Cultural Resources
10.3 Maintenance in Wetlands
10.4 Maintenance Near Waterbodies
10.5 Maintenance of Structures for Wildlife
10.6 Maintenance of Stormwater Facilities
10.7 Maintenance of Roadside Public Facilities
10.8 Management of Portable Sanitary/Septic Waste Systems
10.9 Maintenance of Shoulders and Roadway Appurtenances
10.10 Sweeping and Vacuuming of Roads, Decks, Water Quality Facilities, and Bridge Scuppers
10.11 Maintenance Stewardship Practices for Slopes, Drainage Ditches, Swales, and Diversions
10.12 Erosion and Sediment Control in Maintenance
10.13 Recycling in Roadside Maintenance Operations
10.14 Preserving Air Quality in Maintenance and Operations
10.15 Painting Operation Stormwater BMPs
10.16 Road Waste Management
10.17 Stockpiling, Spoil Disposal or Placement of Inert Fill
10.18 Maintenance of Soils
10.19 Emergency Actions
10.20 Field Review of Roadside Maintenance Operations
   
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