Historic and Archaeological Resources <BACK
WHAT ARE HISTORIC AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDIES?
Pennsylvania possesses an extremely rich heritage that includes contributions
from diverse cultural groups who have seeded the Commonwealth, especially
Lancaster County, with ideas, traditions, values, art, and architecture.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PENNDOT) recognizes the
importance of Pennsylvania's past and is committed to acknowledging
our cultural heritage and preserving it for future generations.
As part of the PA 23 EIS Project, PENNDOT is conducting historic and
archaeological studies to identify and evaluate standing historic buildings
and structures and archaeological sites within the project area. The
studies are a part of the project's compliance with state and federal
laws that require PENNDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
to consider the project's effects on historic properties that are listed
in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
The National Register is a federally maintained list of properties associated
with significant people, events, and developments in local, state and
national history. The studies will assess the impacts of the PA Route
23 EIS project on historic properties and archaeological sites and make
recommendations for the minimization or treatment of adverse effects.
Historic and archaeological studies will be conducted to comply with
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended
(see below for more information concerning this law). The Section 106
review process applies to an "undertaking" or project that
requires federal funding or a federal permit. As the lead federal agency
for the PA 23 EIS project, FHWA must take into account the effects of
their project on historic properties and provide an opportunity for
the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to comment.
There are four fundamental steps in the Section 106 review process:
- The first step is to initiate the process. This includes establishing
whether the project, activity, or program is indeed an undertaking.
This step also includes identifying the appropriate State Historic
Preservation Officer (SHPO) and, if appropriate, the Tribal Historic
Preservation Officer (THPO). Further the federal agency (or its designee)
develops a plan to involve the public and identify other consulting
If an undertaking might affect historic properties, then the agency
and/or its designee move to the second step: identify historic properties.
This includes determining the scope of efforts, identifying historic
properties, and evaluating historic significance.
If it is decided that historic properties may be affected by the
undertaking, the agency and/or its designee moves to the third step:
assess potential adverse effects on the historic properties.
Finally, if it is determined that a historic property will be adversely
affected, then the agency moves to resolve adverse effects. This
might include incorporating design shifts and modifications to avoid
or minimize effects, or recommending measures to mitigate adverse
Background Research, Field Studies and
Historical research will be conducted at state, county and local repositories
to gather information on the history and evolution of PA 23 and its
vicinity for the development of a historic context. This research will
include examination of primary and secondary sources such as historic
maps and atlases, population, agricultural, industrial and social census
data, tax and deed records, historic photographs, and state, county
and local histories. The results of this research will be summarized
and developed into a Historic Context Report. The historic context provides
information on the types of properties that could be found in the area
and identifies expected levels of integrity for these properties to
assist with evaluation of historic properties' eligibility for listing
in the National Register.
For the PA 23 EIS project, field studies will include a reconnaissance
survey to gather broad information about historic and archaeological
resources located within the project area. The location of resources
will be plotted on project maps and information regarding physical features
will be recorded.
A detailed survey of historic structures and buildings potentially
affected by the alternatives will be conducted and resources will be
documented on Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Forms. Intensive
research and deed searches may be undertaken for properties that appear
to be eligible for listing in the National Register.
For prehistoric and historic archaeological resources, KCI will develop
a predictive model for use in comparing effects among the alternatives
studied in the EIS. The predictive model also will provide a strategy
for the efficient identification of archaeological sites within the