Trunk Road Rehabilitation Project: 2008
NLUR conducted cultural resource investigations in support of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Trunk Road Reconstruction Project west of Palmer, Alaska. Archival research and fieldwork completed by NLUR and other researchers identified several historic-era agricultural- and transportation-related properties in and adjacent to the project’s Area of Potential Effect (APE). NLUR completed National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligibility evaluations and condition assessments for these early farmstead and linear transportation sites. Much of the work involved establishing dates of construction, assessing retention of historic integrity, and providing updated architectural and site descriptions.
The potential for an NRHP-eligible rural historic agricultural landscape and historic district in the project vicinity was also analyzed due to the presence of multiple functionally related property types in the project corridor. NLUR developed a historic context focusing on the agricultural history of the area to identify historic farm and road locations. The historic sites and maps were then plotted into GIS-based maps and overlaid with current aerial photographs and property ownership maps to assess landscape change and continuity from the early 1900s to current times. Historic photographs were collected and compared with current photographs to evaluate the retention of historic integrity. Ultimately, a historic landscape was not identified. However, the application of GIS lead to the development of a research paper on available research resources and methods of historic landscape analysis in Alaska presented at the Alaska Anthropological Association’s annual meeting in February 2009.