Consideration of archaeology is fully integrated into the national road scheme planning process and is directly managed by the TII Archaeology & Heritage Section with a view to meeting our statutory obligations, observing best practice, controlling costs, contributing to the efficient delivery of national road schemes and disseminating the results of TII-funded archaeological investigations.
The Archaeology & Heritage Section is responsible for the management of the archaeological implications of national road projects. The management function is dictated by requirements in An Bord Pleanála approvals, as well as environmental and national monument legislation; in particular, conditions imposed by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht as to how archaeological excavations are conducted and newly discovered sites and features are dealt with. These management functions are exercised through the procurement and management of archaeological consultants and, where appropriate, the works are undertaken directly by TII archaeologists.
The primary objective is to complete all archaeological works in advance of the commencement of construction so as to minimise the organisation’s exposure to risk and to minimise the consequential exposure to costs. This is of particular relevance to Design and Build contracts and Public Private Partnership contracts.
It is also a key objective to ensure that the vast quantity of information created by TII-funded work can be realised to its full potential and that the knowledge generated feeds back not only into the decision making and project planning process, but also that this knowledge is disseminated to the general public. These activities also make a valuable contribution to promoting a greater awareness of the past among local communities through which national road and light rail schemes pass.
The cumulative effect of the archaeological work undertaken regarding scheme management, best practice guidance, dissemination and research, ensures that TII not only fulfils its statutory obligations as set down in legislation and national policy, but also demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to meaningful compliance. These efforts also serve to place TII at the cutting edge of the development and application of new investigation and excavation technologies and techniques, with direct benefits for the efficiency of our work on archaeology on national road and light rail schemes. Collectively, these works support the organisation’s core objective of contributing to sustainable development.