The mission of MnDOT’s Cultural Resources Unit (CRU) is to balance the state’s transportation needs with cultural resources stewardship. The CRU reviews Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funded and state-funded MnDOT projects and FHWA-funded local transportation projects for potential impacts to cultural resources pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. While the FHWA has delegated Section 106 responsibilities to the federally qualified staff of the CRU, the federal agency remains ultimately responsible for the process. In addition to federal reviews, the CRU reviews state-funded MnDOT projects pursuant to the Minnesota Historic Sites Act and the Minnesota Field Archaeology Act.
The CRU staff work with federal, state and local agencies, tribal governments, the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and other stakeholders to ensure that impacts to Minnesota’s historic resources are considered early in the transportation planning process. Early consideration of historic resources helps preserve the state’s rich historic heritage while eliminating and reducing project delays.