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Cultural Resources

Cultural Resources Program

Our program seeks to strike that balance between a growing transportation frame-work with protection of Oregon's significant cultural resources.  A staff of Archaeology and Historic Preservation professionals assist the Federal Highway Administration in following the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (section 106) and the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (section4(f)).  We maintain a Section 106 Programmatic Agreement with FHWA, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and State Historic Preservation Office which outlines how we handle both complicated cultural resource interaction and innocuous projects which have limited, if any, effects to historic resources.  Our Cultural Resources Staff review all Section 106 documentation, work directly with the FHWA and SHPO offices, develop Section 4(f) documentation, and conduct all Tribal Consultation.                     

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​Cultural Resources Consultant Qualification Program

The Program applies to consultants working on ODOT-related projects (i.e. Federally Funded Government Projects, Statewide Transportation Improvement Projects, etc.) Training is available twice a year, every two years.  Here is a current list of Cultural Resources Qualified Consultants.

  1. Consultants must attend the course and pass a written exam with a minimum score of 80% to be considered "qualified" to do cultural resources work* for ODOT. 
    • Those existing agreements/contracts that are in place will continue to function as is.  Upon expiration, those contracts will be updated and amended to include this new requirement.
  2. To remain qualified, consultants are required to take a refresher course every two years to stay current on the latest requirements.
  3. This program only applies to qualification for ODOT projects and should not be used as a tool to hire consultants for other state agencies.
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Archaeological resources vary greatly in their nature, content, context, extent, and are non-renewable finite resources.  ODOT Archaeological Staff must evaluate each resource and circumstance individually, and develop appropriate procedures and steps on a case by case basis.  While some fieldwork is conducted in house, mosst is performed through interagency agreements and private contracts.

  • Over 30,000 sites have been recorded in Oregon to date with less than 10% of the state actually surveyed.
  • We have conducted several educational events such as the Ashland Mock Dig and the Elk Trail Elementary School Mock Dig.
More information on procedures and regulations can be found on the Guidance and Resources page.  Still have questions? Call 503-986-3252 or email Carolyn Holthoff, ODOT Cultural Resources Program.



Data Recovery
in Region 4

Dogbane Outreach


Discovery Region 3 


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Historic Resources

The following links are provided to documents which you will need to comply with the regulations designed to balance our historic fabric with transportation development. For a description of the various laws and regulations which protect Oregon´s historic resources, see the Historic Resources - Guidance & Resources page.

The ODOT Historic Program, in coordination with the Bridge Preservation Program, has developed the Oregon's Historic Bridge Field Guide that captures the known historic bridges in the state.

Have questions? Call 503-986-3853 or email Chris Bell, Historic Resources Program Coordinator.

Covered Bridge - Portland, Oregon

Twin Tunnel Area - Columbia River Highway

Vista House at Crown Point - Columbia River Highway​

Chris Bell

Historic Resources Program Coordinator


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Cultural Resources Podcasts

ODOT strives to maintain transparency and keep the public informed of transportation issues through nearly 20 heritage-related podcasts available for download. Podcasts focus on the early development of ODOT, impacts of World War II on Oregon’s transportation infrastructure, the historic ferry system, and archaeological resources in Clatsop County.  Future podcasts will explore Conde B. McCullough, ODOT’s master bridge designer, balancing cultural resources and transportation needs, the highway park system, and ODOT’s efforts to reestablish natural resources in the Salmon River Estuary. We look forward to any comments you would like to share.

Having Technical Issues?  Here are a few helpful tips.
1.      If your default audio/visual player does not activate on the selection of the link, then try a different player such as Windows Media Player or similar software.
2.      If you choose to download the file, simply do the following:
o  Right-Click on selected file.
o  Select Save Target As.
o  Select file destination.
o  Browse to file and select application to play podcast.
3.      For further help, feel free to contact Kurt Roedel, Archaeologist, at 503-986-6571.
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