Focus Area

Historic Preservation/Cultural Resources


Community & Cultural Concerns






2-3 years

Research Idea Scope

A multi-disciplinary approach to building a national-level historic context for historic roads that will then be used to build state-level historic contexts. Using economy of scale, develop a historic context for historic roads from 1700 to 2000 using a team consisting of Archaeologists, Architectural Historians, Historians and Engineers. The National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, Section 106 consultation suffers for not having an overarching contextual review of road building and how that affects identification, evaluation of criteria and assessment of integrity. More to the point, how does a roadbed become “eligible” and when is the built environment associated with the road bed. Historic contexts have been and are being developed at the state-level; they will not be anchored by having a national-level context and evaluation developed that can then be built down to the state-level. This recent work in historic roads has led to an approach of the association of built environment to an eligible roadbed. The objectives are to layout the national-level history of roads and road construction from 1700-2000 and then to layout the context of that history as it guides towards identification, evaluation and assessment of integrity. A methodology will then be laid out, so this national-level history and context can be used to build a state-level history and context. Two states will be used as examples.

Urgency and Payoff

FHWA and the State DOTs are wasting funds and slowing down project delivery having to consult, repetitively, on road contexts and determinations of eligibility. FHWA and the State DOTs can achieve a reasonable and good faith effort by “standardizing” the national-level context and giving methodological guidance on how the state-level can be built. A national-level context, evaluation and assessment of integrity methodology would speed consultation on road properties and reduce those costs. By standardizing road consultation reviews, it will allow the cultural resources professionals to focus on the associated properties to the roadbed.

Suggested By

C. Cliff Creger Nevada Department of Transportation 775.888.7666

[email protected]