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IDOT Project Notification System

The Project Notification System (PNS) is managed and maintained by the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).


Transportation archaeology in Illinois, beginning in 1956, has been performed by ISAS (and its earlier progenitors) at the University of Illinois. ISAS’s Transportation Archeology program is a joint University of Illinois and IDOT effort whose mission is to assist the IDOT in the preservation and protection of Illinois' historic and archaeological resources, to carryout research activities that enhance the educational and public service mission of the University of Illinois, and to promote and ensure the professional and public dissemination of information about the prehistory and history of Illinois.

The PNS is a statewide digital transportation project information distribution system that was created by the Information Technology and Communication Services, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and the ISAS at the University of Illinois with the financial support of IDOT. It is designed to facilitate early access to proposed IDOT construction projects by interested parties including tribal representatives, preservation planners, the State Historic Preservation Office, IDOT personnel, and transportation archaeologists. This early notification system is intended to maintain and enhance the efficiency and quality of IDOT's cultural resource investigations, protection, and preservation programs as carried out under state and federal law and regulations by providing a mechanism for early input by various stakeholders during the initial planning process.

In the PNS, early notification of proposed projects requiring survey and investigation is relayed to ISAS through the digital conveyance of an Environment Survey Request from the Chief Archaeologist, Environment Section, Bureau of Design and Environment, IDOT, Springfield. These documents contain basic preliminary engineering data on the project. Within 48 hours this information is transferred into a password protected, user-friendly database format. ISAS adds information on the locations of known mortuary sites and prepares maps showing the project location. When this data set is uploaded into the PNS by ISAS's Statewide Survey, an e-mail notification is automatically generated to parties who have expressed an interest in the project or county. This e-mail directs them to the new project information packet and provides a digital mechanism for them to comment on the project and to send questions concerning it directly to IDOT.  As additional information on survey results and State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) comments are obtained they are also added to the system.

Award Winning System

In 2010 IDOT and ISAS were recognized by FHWA for their efforts by the presentation of an Exemplary Human Environment Initiatives and Exemplary Ecosystem Initiatives Award for the development and implementation of the PNS to assist in carrying out their Section 106 Tribal consultation needs. This award acknowledged Illinois’ transportation initiatives to improve the human and natural environment.

System Security and Access

These project documents contain certain restricted information. Consequently, access to this archive by individuals and organizations is through a password protected access system managed by ISAS. Authorized users who have trouble accessing the System should contact the PNS Database Manager Michael Farkas at or 217-244-6706.

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