The Cultural Resources Section ensures compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966. The section consists of a staff of archeologists and architectural historians.
Arkansas is extremely rich in cultural resources. Since the 1960s, ARDOT has been actively involved in identification and preservation of cultural resources. Early in the planning process, highway projects are subjected to an intensive cultural resource survey. This process involves checking a variety of documents, maps, and databases for information regarding known resources, as well as an on-the-ground survey to identify any unknown resources that might be present.
All cultural resources, including archeological sites, historic buildings, structures, bridges and landscapes, 50 years old or older are considered. When potentially significant cultural resources are identified, avoidance is the preferred alternative. However, if avoidance is not possible, then archeological data recovery or architectural documentation is utilized to record information on the impacted historic resource.
Consultation is maintained with the State Historic Preservation Officer, appropriate Native American Tribes, and other interested parties throughout the Section 106 process to ensure that the findings meet or exceed the requirements mandated by state and federal law. A wide variety of documentation is necessary at each stage of the process. Project Identification Forms are used for preliminary documentation of projects involving no cultural resources. Survey reports document projects where cultural resources are identified. Memoranda of Agreements and Special Provisions document future processes or mitigation measures.