The National Academies

NCHRP 25-25/Task 097 [Final]

Historic Roads: A Synthesis of Identification and Evaluation Practices
[ NCHRP 25-25 (Research for the AASHTO Committee on Environment and Sustainability) ]

  Project Data
Funds: 75,000
Research Agency: WSP/New South Associates
Principal Investigator: Ms. Mary Beth Reed
Effective Date: 2/16/2016
Completion Date: 12/31/2017

Historic roads are an intrinsic part of the nation’s heritage, representing diverse periods and trends in engineering design from the wagon roads that survive in rural areas to early transcontinental routes.  Some are seemingly common while others, such as the Lincoln Highway and Route 66, have become iconic. As linear resources with a current transportation function, historic roads pose a challenge for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), state departments of transportation (DOTs), and state historic preservation offices (SHPOs) to identify, define, and evaluate for historic significance.


FHWA and state DOTs are required to consider the effects their transportation projects may have on historic roads that are eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places (National Register), pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Historic roads eligible for listing in the National Register are also protected under Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act. A number of states have undertaken efforts to develop historic contexts to assist with the identification and evaluation of historic corridors within their respective states.  


This project provides cultural resources professionals at state DOTs and their partner agencies with a snapshot of the state of historic roads studies. An annotated bibliography of resources is also included. 

The contractor's Final Report (.pdf), including the bibliography, is available HERE

A PowerPoint presentation (.pptx) summarizing the project is available HERE.

The annotated bibliography in a searchable spreadsheet format (.xlsx) is available HERE.

The bibliography is also provided as an electronic library in Zotero format (.ris). Download as a ZIP file HERE.

Zotero is a free, open-source research tool that allows users to add new resources and customize search tags and folders. A video tutorial (.mp4, ~300MB) showing how to get started with Zotero is available HERE.


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