Jump to main content.
Minnesota Department of Transportation Go to 511
MnDOT A to Z | General Contacts | Search |

Photo of archaeologists in field screening for artifacts


Cultural Resources
Minnesota Department of Transportation


Information for Cultural Resource Consultants

Photo of historic barn

Historic barn.

The purpose of the cultural resources work conducted for Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funded projects is to identify and evaluate cultural resources within the project’s area of potential effects (APE); to identify if the proposed undertaking will have an adverse effect on historic properties (i.e., properties listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places [National Register]); and to seek ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any adverse effects to historic properties.  Cultural resources consultants help our office in the identification and evaluation efforts, and, in some cases, in the assessment of adverse effects and in carrying out mitigation measures. 


Working for the CRU

MnDOT currently uses a Pre-Qualified consultant program for cultural resources work types. To find more details about the program or to apply to the MnDOT Office of Consultant Services Pre-Qualification Program website.


CRU Consultant Requirements

All Cultural Resources Unit (CRU) consultants are responsible for following MnDOT's Cultural Resources Unit Project and Report Requirements. When applicable, archaeology consultants are expected to follow the Deep Site Testing Protocol developed for the CRU.


Context Studies

Historic context studies and National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Forms (MPDFs) are important research sources for CRU consultants. Consultants should be aware of studies the CRU has completed, as well as the other historic context studies and MPDFs developed for Minnesota's cultural resources.



MnDOT's geomorphology consultants assist in testing for deeply buried archaeological sites and may be required to perform landscape sediment assemblage mapping and to construct Landscape Suitability Models for defined areas. The data provided to MnDOT need to be consistent with work that has already been done.


GIS Deliverables

A MnDOT scope of work may specify that the APE; all archaeological survey information, including areas surveyed and areas not surveyed, method of survey (pedestrian or shovel testing); and the location of all historic properties must be submitted to MnDOT in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) format. If geomorphic work is done, then borings and trenches must be mapped and cross-sections submitted.