RICHMOND, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Transportation has confirmed that historic human remains were unearthed during bridge construction in Richmond.

INDOT said the remains were discovered during a utility relocation operation as part of the U.S. 27 bridge replacement project which will replace a stretch of the highway over Norfolk Southern railroad tracks.

An archeological consulting firm has been brought in by INDOT to secure the site of the remains along with documenting the discovery and handling the disturbed remains in accordance with state laws. The firm will work under the advisement of the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, INDOT said.

“The remains have been handled with great care by qualified professional archaeologists working under a plan approved by the IDHPA and coordinated with the county coroner,” INDOT said.

According to Richmond radio station G1013, the site where the burial remains were uncovered was once the location of a Quaker cemetery.

“INDOT wishes to respect the remains, and the Cultural Resource Office will take steps to preserve the dignity of the deceased individuals by covering or tenting the area during removal,” INDOT said.

The U.S. 27 project began in April with an estimated completion set for the summer of 2025. INDOT did not clarify if the project will be significantly delayed due to the discovery and relocation of the remains.