Listed below are recent developments pertinent to historic preservation and cultural resources from the past six months. If you would like to suggest a recent development on this topic, please submit a short description to AASHTO (including any pertinent links) on the Share Info with AASHTO form.
The January 2017 edition of the Federal Highway Administration’s Successes in Stewardship newsletter addresses the four basic steps an agency may take to comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The process ensures that agencies comply with Section 106 regulations from a project’s outset and helps to avoid time and cost overruns. The steps are initiating the Section 106 process, identifying historic properties, assessing adverse effects, and resolving adverse effects. For more information, link to the newsletter. (1-26-17)
The Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Transit Administration are gathering input on a draft exemption for railroad rights-of-way from review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Development of the exemption was required under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The exemption is being drafted by FRA and FTA and will be submitted to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, which will publish it in the Federal Register for comment prior to finalizing it. A summary of the proposed approach was provided in a series of recent webinars and is available here. The agencies are seeking input on their proposed approach via e-mail at FRA.106Exemption@dot.gov. (12-20-16)
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has launched a new research tool, Atlas of ReUrbanism, that provides data currently available about cities to explore the connections between the physical character of urban development and a range of economic, social and environmental outcomes. Initial findings of the tool found that in New York City, blocks with older, smaller, mixed-age buildings have more racially and ethnically diverse populations, more than twice as many jobs in small businesses, and nearly twice as many women and minority-owned businesses. The tool currently features interactive maps for the five largest American cities, with plans to eventually include 50 major cities. For more information, link to the tool and the associated report. (12-12-16)
The Federal Highway Administration has published the November edition of the Successes in Stewardship Newsletter, which highlights the efforts of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to identify, preserve and manage historically significant bridges built before 1971. The LADOTD, along with the Louisiana State Historic Preservation Office and the FHWA, signed a programmatic agreement and completed a statewide management plan which shortened the project delivery process for historic bridge projects. Historic bridges are no longer processed individually for review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and bridge designers know in advance which bridges are committed for long-term preservation. For more information, link to the newsletter. (11-20-16)
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has released its annual list of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places, which seeks to highlight architectural, cultural, and historic sites that are at risk of being damaged or lost. This year's list of 11 historic places includes the San Francisco Embarcadero, which is threatened by sea level rise; downtown Flemington, N.J., a large historic district with 19th-century architecture; and the Sunshine Mile, a two-mile commercial corridor on Tucson, Ariz. that is threatened by a proposed boulevard widening project. For more information, link to the press release. (10-5-16)
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