The Washington Rural Access Project

Washington Rural Access Project

Tierra provided right of way services and produced nearly 100 cultural resources reports in support of the Washington Rural Access Project (WRAP), a statewide telecommunications installation project. Dubbed “the largest permitting project ever undertaken in the state of Washington,” the WRAP deployed 1,400 miles of fiber-optic communication lines to rural portions of the state, greatly improving broadband service for private citizens, important health and safety anchor institutions, and schools.

As part of the consultant team, Tierra’s role was to conduct the archaeological (Section 106) portion of the project, consult on the environmental assessment process, and conduct right of way acquisition. The right of way portion of the project involved contacting over 900 landowners, the acquisition of more than 350 permanent easements and consent-to-use easements, and Project Funding Estimates and Administrative Offer Summaries.

For the cultural resources portion of this project, Tierra conducted background research on known cultural and archaeological properties for each of the 19 project routes and produced a final report on our records checks. Tierra identified areas of cultural concern through background research and Tribal communication, surveyed several portions of the project, and recommended avoidance and mitigation measures. We then summarized the findings for the National Telecommunications Information Administration and the Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and drafted a monitoring plan to be implemented during construction for each route. In total, Tierra wrote nearly 100 cultural resources reports and documents for this project. All of these documents were drafted, finalized, and approved within the project’s three-year timeframe. Tierra is proud to have been part of this landmark project for the state of Washington.