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US 101 Elwha River Bridge Replacement Project – Environmental Assessment – Land use and cultural resources

Land Use

The project occurs almost entirely within Elwha Project Lands.  Elwha Project Lands are properties owned by the National Park Service, and not intended or managed for public recreation. Maintenance of the US 101 Elwha River Bridge is the responsibility of WSDOT, but the National Park Service is responsible for managing the Elwha Project Lands.

The Build Alternative would not have notable impacts on land use due to construction of the new Elwha River Bridge, the removal of the current bridge, and realignment of the turnoff onto Olympic Hot Springs Road.

For More Information

To read more about land use, please see Section 3.4.12 of the EA (PDF 1.7MB).

Cultural Resources

The US 101 Elwha River Bridge Replacement project must comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Section 106 requires federal agencies consider the effects of federally funded or permitted projects on historic properties.

The Elwha River Valley is rich in cultural resources that include buildings, structures, landscapes, traditional cultural properties, ethnographic resources, and archeological sites. The Elwha Valley is the homeland of the Lower Elwha Klallam people, and the river remains at the heart of their ceremonial, cultural, and spiritual existence. Background research and shovel probe survey resulted in the identification of three archeological sites within the area of potential effect. The Build Alternative would result in adverse impacts to all three archeological sites. A Memorandum of Agreement between Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, National Park Service, WSDOT and Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation addresses the adverse effects from the project and documents project mitigation measures.

For More Information

To read more about the cultural resources, please see Section 3.4.8 of the EA (PDF 1.7MB).  The Memorandum of Agreement is located in Appendix G.

To read more about Section 4(f), please see Section 3.4.15 of the EA (PDF 1.7MB) and Appendix G (PDF 2.1 MB) for the full Section 4(f) evaluation.