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Missouri Department of Transportation

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Historic Preservation

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) strives to balance historic preservation concerns with the task of planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining the State’s complex transportation infrastructure.  MoDOT’s Historic Preservation (HP) staff works to identify potential conflicts between the two and to help resolve them in the public interest.  The HP staff ensures that no MoDOT job is denied federal funds or permits due to lack of compliance with historic preservation regulations.   MoDOT makes every Schults-Heimann houseeffort to comply with federal and state historic preservation legislation and regulations, and address citizen concerns, while being a good steward of Missouri's historic and prehistoric resources. 

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires that MoDOT consider the potential impacts that any federally funded or permitted project may pose to significant cultural resources.  Cultural resources include archaeological sites, buildings, structures (e.g., bridges), objects, or districts.  The significance of a cultural resource is evaluated by applying a specific set of criteria that are set forth by the National Register of Historic Places.  Cultural resources that meet the criteria of eligibility for listing, or already listed, on the National Register of Historic Places are referred to as “historic properties.”  MoDOT must evaluate the potential impacts of a project on all identified cultural resources, regardless of their significance.  Failure to obtain Section 106 clearance could jeopardize federal funding and permits for a project, which could result in project delays.  After the review process is initiated, compliance with Section 106 requires three things:

Pulaski Bridge

  1. Identify Historic Properties – Determine project’s area of effect, identify historic properties, and evaluate historic significance;
  1. Assess Adverse Effects – Assess if the project will have an adverse effect on historic properties; and
  1. Resolve Adverse Effects – Avoidance, minimization, and/or mitigation of any adverse effect on historic properties.

Section 106 requires MoDOT to seek out consulting parties to participate in the process, and encourages public participation.  The consulting parties include government agencies, tribes, local governments, applicants of federal funds, and the public, both individuals and organizations, with a demonstrated interest in the undertaking and/or historic properties affected by it.  The public can also be involved in the Section 106 process by providing comments at public meetings or online at the "virtual" public meetings on MoDOT's website.   Section 106 encourages, but does not mandate, the preservation of historic properties.  The goal of Section 106 is to ensure that preservation values and the views of consulting parties and the public are factored into the planning process for all federally funded or permitted projects.  It provides assurance that agencies will assume responsibility and public accountability for their decisions when dealing with cultural resources, and specifically historic properties.  

ArcheologistsThe Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s pamphlet Protecting Historic Properties:  A Citizen’s Guide to Section 106 Review is an excellent starting point for citizens seeking more information on their role in the Section 106 process.  The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, as per their website, “…is an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our nation's historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.”  In Missouri, the State Historic Preservation Office in the Department of Natural Resources is responsible, in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior's National Park Service and local governments, in assisting in the Section 106 process.

A brochure summarizing MoDOT’s role in Section 106 can be viewed/downloaded here. If you have concerns or knowledge of a proposed MoDOT project that may impact a historic property, please contact MoDOT's historic preservation manager at Michael.Meinkoth@modot.mo.gov.

Links to the historic preservation topics that MoDOT considers in the planning, construction, and maintenance of Missouri's transportation system are located at the top of the page.

MoDOT Historic Preservation Highlights

St. Louis Public Radio:  “The story of St. Louis’ beginnings becomes more complicated with new archaeological findings

Missouri Life:  “See Our Vanishing Roadside Parks

News Tribune:  “Archaeological pieces of African-American neighborhood unearthed

LiDAR Magazine – “MoDOT Preserves Archaeological Information with Close-Range LiDAR




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