We make sure all Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Division projects follow federal and state historic preservation laws and regulations.
The Cultural Resources Unit's review of MassDOT Highway projects is generally conducted either under:
- Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (if federally funded or permitted) or
- M.G.L. Chapter 9, Section 26-27C, as amended by Chapter 254 of the Acts of 1988 (if state funded)
In 2004, the MassDOT Highway Division entered into a programmatic agreement with the Massachusetts State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation that allows a streamlined Section 106 review for minor highway projects with federal funding.
The Cultural Resources Unit:
- Ensures early coordination with local historical commissions and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers
- Maintains and expands the Massachusetts Historic Bridge Inventory
- Evaluates the historical/archaeological significance of all properties within a proposed project area and seeks alternatives to reduce or mitigate impacts to historic properties
We also coordinate and consult with:
- the Federal Highway Administration
- the SHPO/Massachusetts Historical Commission
- local historical commissions
- Tribal Historic Preservation Officers
- other federal and state agencies
- interested parties about impacts on historic properties