The PennDOT and IUP Partnership: A Personal History – III

Part III – And Away We Go: The First IUP Contract (1999-2002)

In the summer and fall of 1997, we began a series of outreach efforts with various Pennsylvania universities.  Other than IUP, none (and I include our land grant university Penn State in that none) were interested in partnering with us on this initiative.  On October 29, 1997, we met with a contingent from IUP which included Dr. Beverly (Mitchum) Chiarulli from Archaeological Services and Dr. Phil Neusius from the Department of Anthropology, Dr. Ginger Brown, the Associate Dean for Research for the Graduate School, and Evelyn Landon from the Institute for Research and Community Service.  Of particular interest was the 10-year track record of Archaeological Services that had provided archaeological studies and research to other Federal and State agencies. Archaeological Services was not an academic department but under Research and Community Services. Clearly, IUP knew how to work with other agencies. One final fact favored IUP. As state agencies, IUP and PennDOT could enter into memorandums of understanding without competitive bidding and with a relatively simple signature and legal review process, taking between 6-10 weeks from start to finish.  A sole-source or bid contract of comparable size and complexity would take anywhere from 1-2 years.

In this and other meetings through the winter of 1997-1998, we hammered out the framework for an interagency agreement, in which IUP would provide 8 archaeologists and architectural historians to implement our PA for a period of 5 years, renewable.  Concurrently, in the fall of 1997, we were also meeting with selected Engineering Districts to float the idea of regionalizing the positions, putting them in the Engineering Districts instead of Central Office BEQ.  Based on our experience with District 4-0 and Jamie McIntyre, it appeared that better use of the QPs could be made in the Engineering Districts, working side-by-side with the environmental team and design team. This was one of the other recommendations coming out of the EMS Re-engineering and went hand-in-hand with provisioning staff. As they say in Texas, “Go big or go home.”

By February, 1998, we had developed a Memorandum of Understanding between PennDOT and IUP which would add 9 staff to the program, augmenting the existing complement of 6 (Beckerman, Kula, McIntyre, Spohn, Anthony, and an architectural historian vacancy ultimately filled by Kara Russell). These 15 staff would be spread over 5 service regions and Central Office, but all field staff would be hosted by an Engineering District.  BEQ shifted its role from the fount of all things cultural to the main support unit, providing quality assurance, technology transfer, training, and outreach to the public.  You will notice the discussions over the winter of 1997-1998 were for 8 additional staff, but that the MOU presented to upper management was for 9.  One of the better ideas from Wayne Kober was to add one more staff member to the Agreement. This one position was not designated for direct project delivery, but for public outreach and other duties as assigned.

This MOU was presented in February to our upper management for funding and we received the go ahead to proceed. However, in March we were challenged by the Union representing cultural resources staff at PennDOT and at PHMC, the Federal of State Cultural and Educational Professionals (FOSCEP).  The grounds of the objection were twofold:

  1.  The agreement was not cost effective, as compared with hiring state employees within the Department.
  2. The work to be performed is traditional FOSCEP bargaining unit work, and should not be performed by another bargaining unit

Despite the fact that we were going to be utilizing state employees, and replacing consultants with state employees, apparently they were the wrong state employees, i.e., represented by a rival bargaining unit. Go figure.

By December, the issues with FOSCEP had been worked out. The MOU calling for 9 IUP positions was scaled back to 5 positions. Concurrently, the Department made a commitment to hire 4 positions initially, and then at the end of 3 years, absorb the 5 IUP hires into the Department, i.e., into FOSCEP.  On May 27, 1999, the 3-year MOU was executed.  The first year’s estimated cost (July 1, 1999- June 30, 2000) was $362,000 with an approximately equivalent budget for each of the next two years.  The MOU would expire on May 27, 2002 and the commitment to FOSCEP would expire on August 13thof the same year.  The initial hires by IUP were Scott Shaffer, Bruce Manzano, Jonathan Daily, Matt Hamel, and Joe Baker.  The first PennDOT hires under this arrangement were Monica Harrower, Kevin Simons, Zephreny Parmenter, and Joe Verbka.  The hiring process by IUP was much smoother than our PennDOT Bureau of State Employment procedures and they were on-board much more quickly.

In addition to the 5 hires, and associated technical and computer support, IUP also agreed to provide training on archaeology and historic preservation to all cultural resources staff in PennDOT, and to sponsor lectures, conferences, symposia, and other educational outreach activities related to cultural resources.  The first Byways to the PastConference was held at IUP at Eberly Hall on March 8-9, 2000 and co-sponsored by IUP, PennDOT, and also FHWA and the Turnpike Commission.  It focused on the intersection between transportation and historic preservation. Topics were wide-ranging as noted in the programs for the Byways Conference in Years 1 and 2:

First Byways to the Past – 2000


Varna Boyd (Greenhorne & O’Mara, Inc.) – The U.S. 219 Meyersdale Bypass Project: Contributions to the study of Monongahela Culture 

Gary Coppock (Heberling Associates, Inc.) – The Case of the Missing Hamlet: An inquiry into settlement, subsistence, and sociopolitical organization in the Upper Casselman Valley ca. AD 500-900 

Thomas C. East (Skelly and Loy, Inc.) – The Wiser Site: A Late Archaic stone bead manufacturing site in Central Pennsylvania 

Peter E. Siegel (John Milner Associates, Inc.) – The Oberly Island Site: Prehistoric Late Archaic/Late Woodland adaptations in the Lower Lehigh Valley 

Albert T. Vish (Skelly and Loy, Inc.) – The Tunkhannock Bypass: Recreating prehistory at the Harding Flat site 

Robert Wall and Hope Luhman (The Louis Berger Group, Inc). – Four Thousand Years of Tioga County Prehistory: The Mansfield Bridge site excavations 

Historic/Industrial Archaeology

Richard Affleck (URS Greiner Woodward Clyde) – At the Sign of the King of Prussia: Archaeology at the King of Prussia Inn, Montgomery County 

Ken Basalik and Jamie McIntyre (CHRS, PennDOT District 4-0) – The Lackawanna Valley Industrial Highway: A view from the anthracite fields Melissa Diamanti (Archaeological and Historical Consultants, Inc.) 

Melissa Diamanti (Archaeological and Historical Consultants, Inc.) – Weighing in on the Union Canal 

Vickie Kunkle (Gibson Thomas) – A Covered Bridge in Indiana County 

Richard Meyer (John Milner Associates, Inc.) – App’s Mill and the Replacement of Camelback Bridge, Penn’s Creek, Snyder County, PA 

Tom Riester (Mackin Engineering Company) – Rehabilitation of the Historic Smithfield Bridge 

Historic Preservation Projects and the Public 

Christine Davis (Christine Davis Consultants) – ISTEA & the Herr’s Island Bridge: Connecting an award-winning brownfield 

Eric Deloney (National Park Service) – HAER’s Historic Roads and Bridges Program 

Kevin Patrick (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) – Safe Highways to History: Interagency cooperation in the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor 

Ben Resnick and Diane B Landers (GAI Consultants, Inc.) – Erie Coastal Predictive Model 

Second Byways to the Past – 2001


Richard B. Duncan (Skelly and Loy, Inc) – Sites Are Where You Find Them: The Central Susquehanna Valley Archaeological Site Predictive Model 

Thomas R. Lewis (CHRS, Inc.) – The History of a Floodplain: The Pennsylvania Turnpike Bridge over Yellow Breeches Creek 

Patricia Miller (KCI Technologies, Inc) – A Report on the First Pennsylvanians: A stratified Paleo-Indian site in Liverpool, Perry County 

Paul Raber (Heberling Associates) – Looking Under a Rock: The excavation of Mykut Rockshelter 

Historical/ Industrial Archaeology

Amy Fanz (A.D. Marble & Company) – Industrial Archaeology on Moshannon Creek: The Phillipsburg Tannery site 

Barbara J. Shaffer (McCormick, Taylor & Associates, Inc.) – Food, Drink and Rest Next to the Pennsylvania Canal: Archaeological investigations at Gayman’s Tavern 

Historic Preservation

Thomas E. Boothby (Pennsylvania State University) – The State of the Art of Stone Bridges 

J. Dain Davis (PennDOT Engineering District 9-0) – Caring for Covered Bridges: District 9-0’s Covered Bridge Management Program 

Rick Ortega (Ortega Consulting) – Moving the King of Prussia Inn

Patricia Remy and David Anthony (PennDOT District 11-0) – A Delicate Balance: The story of St. Nicholas Church

Public Outreach and Heritage Tourism 

Brenda Barrett (National Park Service) – Byways to the Past: Heritage tourism and transportation networks 

Matt Hamel (PennDOT District 3-0) – The Bridges of Lycoming County: Rehabilitation of a Lattice Truss Bridge in the Pine Creek Valley

Robert H. Hosking Jr. (McCormick, Taylor & Associates, Inc.) – Floating into the Past: A transportation enhancement project at Hugh Moore Park 

David H. Miller (Society for the Preservation of the Duquesne Heights Incline) – Going Up: The transportation enhancement project at the Duquesne Incline 

Randy Cooley (Westsylvania Heritage Corporation) – Westsylvania and the Path of Progress: Regional heritage tourism development 

Hope Luhman (Louis BergerGroup, Inc) – Scouting for Lessons: The Merit Badge Program at Site 36TI116 

Kevin Patrick (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) – The National Lincoln Highway Study Act: What to do with a heritage corridor the size of a nation? 

Ben Resnick and Douglas H. MacDonald (GAI Consultants, Inc.) – The Coverts Crossing Project: A public outreach model 

Deborah Scherkoske (Skelly and Loy, Inc.) – Spanning the Yards: A bridge replacement and public history program at the Enola Yards 

Transportation Projects and Historic Preservation – Roundtable

Michael Ryan (PennDOT) – An Introduction 

Dean Schreiber (PennDOT, Bureau of Design) – Part One 

Earl Neiderhiser (PennDOT District 9-0) – Part Two

Elizabeth Merritt (National Trust for Historic Preservation) – The Big Picture

Planning and Implementing Historic Preservation Projects 

Ira Beckerman (PennDOT Bureau of Environmental Quality) – Historic Preservation at Transportation Agencies: The CRM Program at PennDOT 

M. Lynn Bortel (Federal Highway Administration) – Some Pennsylvania Issues: The FHWA and historic preservation 

Dan Deibler (Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission) – The SHPO’s Perspective 

Pat Foltz (Preservation Pennsylvania) – Byways to the Future: Some suggestions for preservation-sensitive transportation projects in Pennsylvania 

William Hunter (Heberling Associates) – Reforming the Place of Historic Preservation in Ohio’s Transportation Development Program 

Thomas A. Kotay (PennDOT, Center for Program Development and Management) – Getting Preservation Issues on the Drawing Board: The 12-year plan 

Perhaps the highlight of the 2ndYear’s Conference was witnessing lunch between Mike Ryan, our Deputy Secretary in charge of Highway Administration, and Betsy Merritt, who was a lead attorney for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a group that had been known to sue us in the past.  They were engaged in a congenial conversation over things other than a particular project. If for no other reason that getting two sides to break bread in a neutral setting, the Conference was a success.

For the first eight years of this and subsequent MOUs, IUP hosted the Byways to the Past Conference at IUP.

Next: Legacy Collections without End: The Second IUP Contract (2002-2007)

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