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Cultural Resources

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Archaeology/Historic Architecture/Native American Consultation

cultural_HPWhy does NDOT have a section devoted to Cultural Resources?

NDOT’s Cultural Resource team works to balance the transportation needs of Nevada’s growing communities with protecting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of the state. To identify significant cultural resources that may be impacted by transportation projects, the Cultural Resource Section:

  • Conducts archaeological surveys to identify sites of prehistoric and historic importance
  • Examines architectural features, such as buildings, bridges and cemeteries
  • Researches historical records such as old maps, historic photos and government reports and
  • Consults with Native American tribes and organization

What are Cultural Resources?

Cultural Resources include prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, ghost towns, rock art, historic buildings, spiritual places, historic landscapes and even historic roads, such as the Lincoln Highway

2014 Nevada Transportation Programmatic Agreement

Standard Treatment Plan

Standard Treatment Plan - Adversely Affected Historic Bridges

Annual Reports

The Annual Reports for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are indexed below.

Bridge Program Comment - Post-1945 Concrete and Steel Bridges

Federal Highways Administration and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation worked together to develop a Program Comment to Streamline Section 106 for certain types of Post-1945 bridges. After working through the process, here is the list of common bridges and culverts that Federal Agencies do not have consider effects of undertakings on. Section 106 still has to be considered for undertakings outside of the bridge itself.

NDOT Public Cultural Heritage 

NDOT’s Cultural Resources team's efforts to bring the rich cultural heritage of the state to the public:


NDOT archaeologists are fortunate to have the entire state of Nevada as a study area. Human occupation of Nevada spans at least the last 10,000 years and includes prehistoric, indigenous and historic cultures. Our primary purpose is to guide department projects through Historic Preservation laws established by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) so that cultural properties are avoided or minimally impacted by NDOT projects and are preserved in some manner for the benefit of our common cultural heritage. The Cultural Resource team advises NDOT on how to balance the protection of the resource with the transportation needs of the public.

C. Cliff Creger, M.A., RPA – Chief Cultural Resources Program Manager
Telephone: (775) 888-7666

Beth P. Smith, M.A., RPA, GISP – Lead Archaeologist
Telephone: (775) 888-7488

Shannon Goshen, M.A. RPA – Archaeologist
Telephone: (775) 888-7897

David Rigtrup, M.A. - Archaeologist
Telephone: (775) 888-7746

Melissa Mueller, M.A., RPA - Archaeologist
Telephone: (775) 888-7093

Historic Architecture

Whenever federal money is involved with any Nevada Department of Transportation project, NDOT is legally required to comply with regulations set up by Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act of 1966. This important Act established rules for identifying historic structures and evaluating how projects will impact these resources. NDOT takes considerable lengths to avoid affecting historically significant structures and buildings. If it is not feasible to avoid impacting an historic structure, the adverse impact must be mitigated. Mitigation can take the form of moving an historic home to a new location, documenting a building for the Historic American Building Survey to be kept at the National Archives, or planting trees to create visual barriers.

Alexis K. Thomas, M.S., MPS – Lead Architectural Historian
Telephone: 775-888-7478

Libby Cooke, PhD - Architectural Historian
Telephone: 775-888-7429

Native American Consultation

Native American consultation is required by law for projects which receive federal funds. Most NDOT projects receive at least some federal funding. Native American consultation is conducted on a government-to-government basis and is undertaken by the Federal Highway Administration with the assistance of this program. This program addresses cultural issues, such as potential impacts to Traditional Cultural Properties (TCPs) and other historic properties to which tribes may attach cultural or religious significance. Other concerns, such as environmental or economic justice issues, are forwarded to the appropriate individuals within the Environmental Program.

Evan Pellegrini, M.A. - Native American Consultant
Telephone: 775-888-7092

 NDOT Cultural Resource Publications

  • Streamlining survey in Reno's Spaghetti Bowl.  2018, Pettis, Emily, Sebastian Renfield and Alexis Thomas. Transportation Research News 318, pages 37-39. TR News is copyright, National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; posted with permission of the Transportation Research Board. RPO Pettis et al
  • Multiple Properties Documentation Form Lincoln Highway Pioneer Branch - Carson City to Stateline Revised 171027_MPDF

Conference Presentations


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