The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) was required to alleviate a dangerous
curve in Route 51 in Berkeley County to increase public safety. A major challenge
was to avoid impacts to potentially significant archaeological and historical resources
during project design and construction.
WVDOH retained TRC to conduct an archaeological sensitivity assessment of the
proposed project area, which was adjacent to the Mill Creek Historic District. TRC
completed several tasks to identify, evaluate, and mitigate impacts to cultural resources
within the construction area.
- TRC identified two archaeological sites in the proposed right-of-way. One historic
period site (the Sherrard Site, 46BY229) was determined eligible for inclusion in
the National Register of Historic Places.
- Archaeological and historical research revealed that the site was occupied by
19th century mill owners. The excavations uncovered two foundations and several
thousand historic artifacts, including both utilitarian and decorative items as well
as abundant food remains. As a result, the site was found to be a contributing
resource to the Mill Creek Historic District.
- To mitigate the effects of construction on this resource, TRC conducted intensive
site excavations and produced a detailed technical report on the historical and
- For public outreach, TRC developed an exhibit displayed at the Berkeley County
- WVDOH was able to redesign a dangerous segment of Route 51 for the benefit of
public safety while mitigating adverse effects to significant cultural resources.
- The exhibit will become a permanent display at the Berkeley County Historical
Society for the benefit of the public.