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Home arrow Historic Preservation Programs & Officers arrow Federal arrowFHWA arrowSection 106 Case Studies

Section 106

Each year thousands of federal-aid highway projects undergo Section 106 review. As with other federal agencies, most undertakings are resolved at the state level without the ACHP’s direct involvement. However, some cases present complex issues or procedural challenges that warrant the participation of the ACHP.
Community outreach for proposed redevelopment of the St Elizabeths East Campus in Washington DC’s Ward 8.Community outreach for proposed redevelopment of the St Elizabeths East Campus in Washington DC’s Ward 8.
When the ACHP decides to participate in consultation, it will notify the head of the federal agency of its decision and may participate in the following activities:

    • Attend consultation meetings via telephone or in person to discuss how to resolve adverse effects with the consulting parties; and
    • Maintain general awareness of the undertaking and any potential issues that may concern the consulting parties; and
    • Provide technical assistance during the consultation meetings and with consulting parties; and
    • Provide comments on the draft Memorandum of Agreements (MOA) or Programmatic Agreements (PA); and 
    • Become signatories to the MOAs or PAs. 

When an undertaking will or may adversely affect historic properties, the FHWA, along with the State Historic Preservation Officer and/or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, and other parties, usually including a state department of transportation as the applicant for Federal funds or approval, will negotiate and execute a Section 106 agreement document.  The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) or Programmatic Agreement (PA)  is legally binding and sets outs the measures the federal agency will implement to resolve any adverse effects.
When a federal agency knows the undertaking will have an adverse effect on specific historic properties, such as a historic bridge replacement project, an MOA is appropriate. The MOA details the measures that will be carried out to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the effects of the federal undertaking, and the party responsible for completing each required task.

If the effects of an undertaking on historic properties cannot be fully determined at the time Section 106 is concluded, a PA may be used to detail a process for completing the historic preservation review within a timeframe negotiated by consulting parties. An MOA or PA documents the agreement reached among the FHWA, State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), State Department of Transportation, and the ACHP, and concludes the Section 106 process. Additional consulting parties, including Indian tribes, other federal and state agencies with jurisdiction, local governments, and others may be invited to be signatories or to indicate their agreement with the resolution of adverse effects by signing as concurring parties. For additional information on agreement documents, check out the ACHP’s Guidance on Agreement Documents:

Section 106 Case Studies with recent ACHP Involvement

  • Colorado: MOA Executed for Improvements to US Highway 160 between Durango and Bayfield (Case Digest Summer 2012)
  • Hawaii:  MOA for Kuhio Highway resolves project’s effects on Wailua River TCP Historic District (2013)
  • Indiana:  Tier 2 MOA for Section 5, Interstate 69 in Monroe County, Focused on Protecting Historic Limestone Quarries from Impacts (2013)
  • Louisiana: Management of Historic Bridges
  • New York:  Tappan Zee Hudson River Bridge Project (Case Digest Summer 2012)
  • North Carolina:  Herbert C. Bonner Bridge Programmatic Agreement amended to protect Sea Turtles from automobile headlights. (2013)
  • Pennsylvania: After Mistaken Bridge Demolition, FHWA and PennDOT Commit to Rehabilitate Marsh Road Bridge and to Funding for Historic Quaker Bridge in Crawford County.
  • Wisconsin: Historic Bosch Hotel and Tavern To be Moved To Make Room for Highway Reconstruction in the Village of Hales Corners (2014).
  • Wisconsin:  Taliesin National Historic Landmark. Context Sensitive Safety Improvements on STH 23 near Spring Green

Additional Case Studies previously published by the ACHP may be found on the ACHP website in the Case Digest archives.

Updated March 3, 2016

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