Cultural Resources Unit

We protect and preserve historic properties and archaeological sites for MassDOT transportation projects.

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About us

In Cultural Resources, we make sure historic properties and archaeological sites are considered during design of all MassDOT construction projects (as required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, and other federal and state historic preservation laws and regulations). These regulations require all federal agencies to identify historic properties within an Area of Potential Effects whenever federal funds are used to support an undertaking or if a federal permit is required. These regulations also require federal agencies to avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse effects to historic properties to the greatest extend feasible. The Federal Highway Administration has delegated most Section 106 responsibilities to MassDOT through a Programmatic Agreement (please see below) that also includes the Massachusetts State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Our staff responsibilities include consulting with the SHPO, the Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, local historical commissions, and the public, maintaining the Massachusetts Historic Bridge Inventory, identifying historic properties, undertaking archaeological investigations, and seeking design alternatives to avoid, minimize, or mitigate effects to historic properties.

Case Study: Longfellow Bridge preservation

Restored Longfellow Bridge tower

"What's inside the 'shakers' on the 'salt-and-pepper-shaker bridge'?" A reader posed this question to about the stone towers on the Longfellow Bridge, nicknamed the "Salt and Pepper Bridge", which spans the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge. In response, Jonathan Gulliver, MassDOT Highway Division Administrator, and Stacey Donahoe from MassDOT's Cultural Resources Unit sat down with to answer the question and to talk about the history of the landmark structure.

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Contact for Cultural Resources Unit


MassDOT Environmental
10 Park Plaza, Suite 7130, Boston, MA 02116
Image credits:  © Wangkun Jia -

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