A portion of the CSAH 61 roadway that runs along the Minnesota River Valley, beneath the bluffs of Eden Prairie, is scheduled for reconstruction. Due to the effects that this project will likely have on adjacent wetlands, it will require permitting from the Army Corps of Engineers and, therefore, compliance with Section 106.
We performed an extensive survey of the project area, identifying 19 archaeological sites that represent the occupation and use of the area at least 1,000 years ago, through the arrival of Europeans, and into modern times. Our investigations continue at six of these sites, each of which has been determined to be eligible for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
Some remarkable archaeological sites shed light on our knowledge of Native American settlement in the Minnesota River Valley. In addition, some key strategies for success included starting planning and consultation early; active and effective communication among the County; 106 Group; lead federal and state agencies; and the Tribes. This open communication built trust among key decision makers and enabled a flexibility and effectiveness to address the many challenges of this complex project.