Minneapolis Central Tunnel

Minneapolis, MN
The City of Minneapolis Public Works Department is constructing a new stormwater tunnel to expand and improve the Minneapolis Central City Tunnel System (MCCTS). A permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) was necessary, requiring compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (Section 106). Compliance with state mandates governing archaeological and architectural history resources, including the Minnesota Historic Sites Act, Minnesota Field Archaeology Act, and Minnesota Private Cemeteries Act, was also required.
Scope
106 Group is working with the City and their engineer to coordinate permitting with USACE and provide recommendations to comply with applicable cultural resources laws. We prepared an historic context of the MCCTS, an archaeological and architectural resources literature review, an intensive architectural history evaluation of the Chicago Avenue Parallel Storm Tunnel, and an archaeological assessment for proposed improvements.
Outcome
Recently, we prepared an archaeological monitoring and unanticipated discoveries plan (UDP). The monitoring plan and UDP provided procedures for archaeological monitoring and a framework for properly evaluating and treating archaeological discoveries during construction. The USACE and State Historic Preservation Office quickly approved the monitoring plan and UDP. This approval allows construction planning to move forward without delays. Our archaeologists are now providing on-site monitoring through construction completion, expected in 2022.