107.09 Archeological and Historical Findings

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Subsection 107.09 of the Standard Specifications for Construction briefly discusses what should take place if what appear to be bones, artifacts or buried foundations of potentially historical or archaeological significance are encountered during construction. The following are the procedures to be followed if these same types of findings are made on a project.

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MDOT’s archaeologist, Project Planning Division, is solely responsible for administration of MDOT cultural resources preservation requirements, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and rules, including the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). The Engineer will ensure that the Contractor(s) immediately cease operations and contact MDOT’s archaeologist for direction when cultural resources, such as bones, artifacts and/or buried foundations, are encountered during operations.

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In the event that during operations on MDOT projects, MDOT construction personnel/Contractor personnel encounter bones, artifacts or buried foundations of potential historical or archaeological significance, they will immediately cease operations in that location and notify MDOT’s Engineer. MDOT’s Engineer will, immediately upon stopping work in the affected area, contact MDOT’s archaeologist for consultation and direction.

MDOT’s Engineer will investigate the site and will, only after consulting with MDOT’s archaeologist, direct MDOT’s personnel/Contractor personnel to either resume operations or to continue the suspension of operations as specified herein and provided under the authority of subsection 107.09 of the Standard Specifications for Construction.

Upon notification by MDOT’s Engineer, MDOT’s archaeologist will provide such direction to MDOT’s Engineer as necessary to maintain compliance with applicable laws, regulations and rules including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Contacting the appropriate law enforcement/medical agency in the case of human remains discovery in compliance with Section 2853 of the Public Health Code, MCL 333.2853; MSA 14.15 (2853); 1982 AACS, R 325.8051.
    NOTE: In the event MDOT’s Engineer suspects the discovery to be human remains, MDOT’s Engineer will immediately contact local law enforcement officials along with MDOT’s archaeologist.
  • Arranging a site visit by MDOT’s archaeologist, state archaeologist, or others as necessary for prompt and appropriate assessment, determination and action.
  • Providing clearance for MDOT’s Engineer to resume operations.
  • Any other directions as deemed prudent and necessary by MDOT’s archaeologist.

MDOT’s archaeologist will immediately consult with the state archaeologist to determine the appropriate course of action and notify MDOT’s Engineer of the determination.

MDOT’s archaeologist is responsible for all necessary coordination and performance of the cultural resource work required by MDOT, including obtaining disinterment/reinterment court orders/permits for human remains if necessary, to obtain clearances and resume operations.

The order to resume operations for the affected work will be issued by MDOT’s Engineer only after a clearance is received from the MDOT archaeologist

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