PennDOT uses new approach to historic resource mitigation

The state Department of Transportation District 2 recently debuted an online, interactive story map for the Potters Mills Gap Transportation Project on U.S. Route 322 in Centre County.

The purpose of the project, according to PennDOT’s website, is to improve safety, reduce congestion and alleviate access concerns along the section of Route 322 from the Centre/Mifflin County line west to the intersection with state Route 144 in Potters Mills.

“The story map is part of an innovative, creative effort to mitigate project impacts on historic resources in the project area,” according to a press release from PennDOT.

According to the release, the story map satisfies some of the mitigation requirements for adverse effects to the Penns/Brush Valley Rural Historic District identified as being eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

The story map is the first of its kind to be used by PennDOT, according to the release. The PMG project had an effect on several wooded tracts and historic building farmland areas within the Rural Historic District.

It was determined that the character defining features of the Rural Historic District in the Potters Mills area would be adversely affected by the project, according to the release.

According to the release, the story map was produced by McCormick Taylor Inc., and it displays the locations and details of historically significant people, places and events in the project area.

“The intent of the story map is to provide the public with insight into how the development of transportation within the Potters Mills Gap has, over time, impacted the Historic District,” Karen Michael, PennDOT District 2 executive, said in the release.