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State surveying I-95 right-of-way adjacent to Woodlawn Cemetery

woodlawnthis-oneState surveying I-95 right-of-way adjacent to Woodlawn Cemetery

By Roberto Fernandez, III

      On April 11, 2015, Janus Research, a company hired by the Florida Department of Transportation to conduct surveys of historic resources, went out to Woodlawn Cemetery in Fort Lauderdale.

The research team is trying to determine if there are any human remains within the Interstate 95 (I-95) right-of-way, which is adjacent to Woodlawn Cemetery.

The Woodlawn Cemetery potters field was purchased by the State of Florida in the late 1960’s so the land could be used to construct I-95.

The research team included specially trained dogs, known as human remains detection dogs that can detect the scent of human remains.

The use of these dogs is one of several non-invasive methods used by archaeologists to detect human remains in specific locations. The use of non-invasive methods means that the burials at Woodlawn will not be physically disturbed. Mickey Hinton, who observed the researchers on Saturday, said, “The dogs just went around and found some spots on the shoulder near I-95.”

Because the dogs detected something on Saturday, the next phase will utilize another non-invasive method, Ground-penetrating radar (GPR). GPR uses high-frequency electromagnetic pulses from a radar antenna to probe the earth. The transmitted radar pulses bounce off of various things in the ground and a radar receiver detects the return. Things, known as interfaces, that GPR can detect include man-made objects, soil elevations and various ground disturbances. Archaeologists will analyze this information to determine if human remains are buried between Woodlawn Cemetery and I-95.

The findings will be shared with the Woodlawn Cemetery Preservation Planning Community Outreach Committee in late May.


If you have information about a family member or friend buried at Woodlawn Cemetery and would like to help please contact the students at or call the club advisor Mr. Roberto Fernandez at (754) 322-0200.

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