After working on state roadway projects since 2009, Holly Eriksen, PE, has joined TTL as our newest environmental engineer.
A Tuscaloosa native and University of Alabama civil engineering graduate, Holly began her career in the Alabama Department of Transportation’s regional office that covers West Alabama. Here, she was charged with overseeing the preconstruction environmental aspects for some of the area’s largest and most important roadway projects.
In 2015, Holly transferred to ALDOT’s central office in Montgomery where she then helped write environmental documents for projects across Alabama. In working closely with specialists to compile studies for the documents as well as providing project justification to the Federal Highway Administration, she saw firsthand how transportation network improvements can benefit communities large and small.
“That’s something I just love about this work,” Holly said. “Every project is different.”
For TTL, Holly will be working closely with our transportation clients to meet federally mandated environmental requirements following the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The NEPA process allows transportation officials to make project decisions that balance engineering and transportation needs while considering the social, economic, and natural environmental effects.
And her understanding of NEPA is what adds so much to TTL.
“Holly is a great fit and we work so well together,” said TTL Environmental Regional Leader Chris Stanford. “And she immediately adds an expertise that we have not had within TTL. She’s someone who is so knowledgeable of the regulations and has the connections with regulators that make projects proceed with much more efficiency.”
From considering the endangered species and historical significance in a project study area to the potential social impacts, the environmental process is necessary to bring projects to fruition. As is public involvement, and Holly has hosted multiple public involvement meetings for many projects throughout her career.
“It is important to seek input from the people who use the transportation system on a daily basis,” she said.
And whether the project is common, routine, unique, or controversial, her findings and recommendations always come with a focus on improving a community’s quality of life.
“I enjoy looking at a project and the potential impacts, then working with others to arrive at the best decision,” Holly said. “It’s important to see how a project may resolve a transportation issue, but it’s also important to study the potential impacts of a proposed project in order to avoid or minimize the impacts.”