Skip Top Navigation

Frequently Asked Questions

What are cultural resources?
Cultural resources are archaeological sites, historic structures (such as buildings and bridges) and areas of traditional cultural importance to tribes or other communities.

If archaeologists find a site, does the highway have to go around it?
WSDOT makes every effort to avoid impacts to historic structures and archaeological sites. When impacts cannot be avoided, we consult with tribes and other state and federal agencies to minimize disturbance and mitigate effects.

How are impacts to historic and archaeological sites mitigated?
Archaeological excavation, documentation of historic structures, and interpretive displays for the public are examples of mitigation. WSDOT develops mitigation measures through consultation.

Does every WSDOT project have a cultural resources survey?
Some projects, such as changing street light bulbs or putting new signs on existing poles, don't have the potential to harm cultural resources. Cultural resources specialists review projects and determine which ones require investigation.

How does WSDOT work with tribes on cultural resources issues?
The Cultural Resources Program coordinates with tribal governments and the WSDOT Tribal Liaison office to ensure that tribal views are heard and understood.

Contact the Cultural Resources Program with your questions.