News

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River District Park Ribbon Cutting

More than 100 people gathered Thursday, Oct. 6, to cut the ribbon on River District Park, a 5-acre recreational area now open alongside the Black Warrior River.

Positioned between the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater and Hotel Indigo, this approximately $8 million park features open green space, river-viewing areas, a multi-functional plaza, a performance stage, a pavilion, and dynamic lighting with a pathway that connects to the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk.

TTL, Inc. developed the master plan and final design for the park, converting an under-utilized portion of the city’s riverfront into a welcoming and engaging center for residents and visitors alike.

“TTL was honored to be a part of the team tasked with the planning, design, and construction of River District Park,” said TTL Project Manager Bradley Porter. “We believe the park sets a new, unique standard in the area and, while serving as a gateway to western Tuscaloosa, is just the beginning of projects to come that will continue to make Tuscaloosa and its riverfront a destination point for citizens and visitors for years to come.”

River District Park serves as an outdoor extension of the Saban Center, the new, state-of-the-art interactive learning center that will offer science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, theater and outdoor recreation, and allow for coordinated indoor and outdoor programming for children.

Terry Saban, wife of Nick Saban, head coach of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide, was on hand to cut the ribbon on the park that will serve generations of West Alabama children.

“In the 16 years that the Saban family has called Tuscaloosa our home, we have watched it grow and develop into a thriving, exciting city,” Terry Saban said. “And this park is part of that excitement.”

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox credited the Saban family for having the vision to help revitalize this corridor of the city and boost interest and investment into West Tuscaloosa and beyond.

“You never succeed alone, in my opinion. Not on Saturday, not in life,” Maddox said. “Today is about a team effort, about a community working with so many partners and an extraordinarily generous family. We could not have done this without you. This park is going to be the symbol and cornerstone of our riverfront development westward, and it’s going to be something we can all be proud of in this victory for Tuscaloosa.”


Liam Parker Joins Marketing

Liam Parker, an award-winning photographer and videographer, has joined TTL’s growing marketing team as a corporate multimedia specialist.

Liam will create photo and video content for recruiting, community outreach, project pursuits, social media, award submissions, website, and project milestones, while documenting the firm’s various accomplishments across all service lines and market sectors.

A native of Northport, New York, Liam found a home in the South after choosing the University of Alabama over schools in his home state. He initially planned to study economics, but volunteer work on student-run film sets, followed by an internship with the Center for Public Television at UA, soon sparked a new passion for the visual arts.

Two years before earning his bachelor’s degree in creative media, Liam received a 2020 Emmy award in the Informational/Instructional category from the Regional Southeast Emmy Chapter. Liam and three fellow students were recognized for their development of a documentary about a University of Alabama student who incorporated American Sign Language into his performance art.

A 2022 graduate of the University of Alabama and son of a career New York City firefighter, Liam enjoys shooting photos both on and off the clock, reading, and pursuing creative outlets through playing guitar and writing.

Founded in 1964, TTL is an engineering design firm focused on delivering integrated infrastructure solutions for public and private clients. From site and corridor selection to due diligence, design, and construction services, TTL is your trusted partner providing single-sourced custom solutions for complex infrastructure development. With over 400 team members, TTL provides civil design, surveying, geotechnical engineering, environmental consulting and remediation, and materials testing/inspection/observation.


Jason Morton Joins the Marketing Department

After more than two decades in newspapers, veteran journalist Jason Morton has joined TTL, Inc.’s growing marketing department as its newest marketing coordinator. Jason was hired to help elevate TTL’s written content, from proposals and qualifications to both external and internal communications.

A native of Alabama, Jason graduated from the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He began his newspaper career in March 2000 with the LaGrange (Georgia) Daily News, covering local government and public safety for communities in West Georgia and Troup County. In 2004, Jason was hired by The Tuscaloosa News in Tuscaloosa, Alabama – the headquarters of TTL – as its night and weekend public safety reporter. In the 18 years that followed, Jason was assigned at various times to cover the state and local court system, the activities in communities across nine counties of West Alabama, and finally the county and municipal governments in Tuscaloosa County, focusing primarily on the actions of the city of Tuscaloosa and the Tuscaloosa City Council for the latter half of his newspaper career.

Along the way, Jason won multiple writing and reporting awards from newspaper associations in Georgia and Alabama, including the 2003 Class AA Associated Press Association’s Story of the Year in Georgia and, in 2008, the Alabama Associated Press Managing Editors Association’s Sweepstakes award (its version of story of the year). Jason was also a member of The Tuscaloosa News reporting staff that won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for its coverage of the devastating tornado of April 27, 2011, that tore a 5.9-mile path of destruction across Tuscaloosa and damaged or destroyed more than 12% of the city’s homes, facilities, and businesses.

Jason and his wife, Pam, reside in east Tuscaloosa with their son, Enoch. When he is not behind a keyboard, Jason enjoys cooking, watching movies, losing to his son in video games, and cheering on the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Founded in 1964, TTL is an engineering design firm focused on delivering integrated infrastructure solutions for public and private clients. From site and corridor selection to due diligence, design, and construction services, TTL is your trusted partner providing single-sourced custom solutions for complex infrastructure development. With over 400 team members, TTL provides civil design, surveying, geotechnical engineering, environmental consulting and remediation, and materials testing/inspection/observation.


Community Engagement Updates!

Almost 100 Tuscaloosa-area residents turned out on Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, for the community engagement meeting that was hosted by TTL, Inc. and the City of Tuscaloosa to voice their thoughts, ideas, and suggestions on developing the master plan for Lake Nicol and Harris Lake.

TTL, Inc. was selected to create a master plan that will help inform recreational decisions for Lake Nicol and Harris Lake for years to come, and the community engagement meeting was the latest in the ongoing efforts by TTL and the City of Tuscaloosa to gain insight into what the public wants for the future of these lakes.

“We were very pleased with the turnout for the public involvement meeting on the Lake Nicol/Harris Lake plan,” said Jason Walker, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of TTL. “While we did hear some concerns about draft elements of the plan from area residents, there was overall very positive feedback and additional ideas brought to the table for consideration.”

Unveiled for the first time were preliminary concepts developed by TTL and its partner in this process, Barge Design Solutions, Inc., to create a Retreat District and a Day Use/Camping District along Lake Nicol, a Group Events District and Active Recreation District on Harris Lake, as well as a nearby Village District serving both lakes and featuring open space and plans for shops or businesses.

“As the master plan for lakes Harris and Nicol comes together, we look forward to implementing the exciting ideas in the years to come,” said Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. “Data shows that young professionals prefer to choose their city of residence before their workplace, and local recreation is at the top of the list of things they’re looking for. With your help, we’re creating a vision that will maximize the potential of these two jewels of our community to help attract and retain the best and brightest for years to come.”

Now, TTL will review the data from more than 1,000 responses to an ongoing online survey along with the input from the community engagement meeting to begin development of the master plan.

And for those who couldn’t attend, there’s still a chance to be heard! The public survey on the lakes was launched in July and will remain open through the end of August 2022. The public is urged to complete the survey at www.elevatetuscaloosa.com/lakesurvey.


We Want to Hear from You!

TTL, Inc. and the City of Tuscaloosa are inviting residents to a community engagement meeting to gather input for improvements to Lake Nicol and Harris Lake.

Set for Monday, Aug. 22, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., this come-and-go event will be held at the Mary Ann Phelps Activity Center, 2200 Rock Quarry Dr. in Tuscaloosa, and feature TTL staff members to present potential concepts for the lake and seek feedback and ideas from the public.

The community engagement meeting is the latest in the ongoing efforts by TTL and the City of Tuscaloosa to gain insight into what the public wants for the future of these lakes. A public survey on the lakes was launched in July and will remain open through the end of August 2022. The public is urged to complete the survey at  Elevate Tuscaloosa.

As part of Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox’s Elevate Tuscaloosa initiative, TTL was selected to create a master plan that will help inform recreational decisions for Lake Nicol and Harris Lake for years to come.

Come out and make your voice heard!


ASHE 2021 Member of the Year

A longtime engineer with TTL, Inc. is the 2021 Member of the Year recipient awarded by the Middle Tennessee section of the American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE).

Leanna Whitwell, PE, TTL’s regional manager for geotechnical services in Tennessee, was honored during ASHE Middle Tennessee’s inaugural awards banquet, held at The Bell Tower in downtown Nashville on July 29.

Leanna joined the organization in 2007 and currently serves as secretary, a position she has held since 2013. In addition, she is the past chair of the Tennessee Geotechnical Group of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a member of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers.

A graduate of Tri-State (now Trine) University with more than 27 years of engineering experience, Leanna joined TTL’s Nashville office in May 2010. She now serves as the regional leader for Tennessee geotechnical engineering services, overseeing the coordination of training, resource management, and supervision of geotechnical staff. Leanna also acts as principal engineer, providing geotechnical engineering services and oversight for construction materials testing projects.

TTL, Inc. is an engineering consulting firm with more than 430 employees and offices in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas. The firm serves clients across the nation in the energy, transportation, industrial, institutional, commercial, government, and water/wastewater markets. First formed in 1964 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, TTL is passionate about solving challenges and helping clients be successful. At our core, we are driven to serve our clients, our communities, and our people. More information about TTL can be found at www.ttlusa.com.


John Cheney Joins as Tennessee Regional Business Development Director

TTL is pleased to introduce John Cheney as Tennessee Regional Business Development Director. John brings his 25 years of experience in business development and project management to this position where he will build and enhance client relationships, support long-term client and pursuit strategy, and lead TTL’s community and industry engagement.

 

Growing up with a contractor dad, John worked on roof-tops while assisting his dad with take-offs and estimates. With a love for taking someone’s inspiration to reality, John obtained his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Auburn University in Auburn, AL and took part in the Mexico Study Abroad Program studying pre-Columbian architecture. Johns unique background in contracting combined with his education in Architecture, skills in problem-solving, and a deep understanding of the impacts of design on construction allowed him to bring his clients vision to life effectively, economically, and practically.

 

John also learned the importance of relationships from his grandfather, a dentist who always put his clients at ease by building relationships. John has embraced the role of business development focusing his career on building authentic relationships that enable him and his colleagues to help solve his client’s challenges.

 

Passionate about community and industry involvement, John is a Rotary International two-time club president, Paul Harris Fellow, and Multi-District Board Member for International Youth Exchange in 13 states, North America, Latin America, and Europe. John is also involved in the Society of Military Engineers (SAME), Tennessee School Plant Managers (TSPMA), Tennessee Sheriffs Association (TSA), and the Southern Economic Development Council.

 

John and his wife Connie love to get out on their bikes on the greenway, root for the Auburn Tigers, and spend time with their three adult daughters.


John Castleman Joins Nashville CEI Department

TTL, Inc. is excited to announce John Castleman, PE is the new Construction Engineering and Inspection Manager at the Nashville office.

John has over 8 years of experience on urban, and rural, reconstruction projects for both TDOT and municipalities including design review and construction implementation. He will be responsible for managing our growing Construction Engineering Inspection service line in Tennessee. He will manage current CEI staff and supervise TTL’s inspection efforts on construction projects throughout the state. As TTL’s CEI manager, John will also spearhead our CEI business development strategies. We are excited to welcome John to our growing TTL team!


Engineering Excellence Awards Grand Award Winner

Earlier this year, TTL, Inc. was recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies Alabama (ACEC Alabama) as their Engineering Excellence Awards Grand Award Winner for the Homewood Suites project in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In May 2019, TTL was contracted by Cohen Investments, Inc. (Cohen) to provide professional consulting services for the design and construction of a six-story Homewood Suites hotel. TTL provided civil design, surveying, geotechnical engineering, environmental consulting, construction materials testing, and Special Inspections.

The site of the Homewood Suites had significant challenges leading up to the development of the property. The property had been used as a recreational lake, a landfill for the city, and a farmer’s market up until its closure in 2012. During the initial investigative efforts associated with the projects previous developments, TTL discovered there was leftover waste from the previous landfill that once occupied the site. That waste was removed, and to ensure the waste did not have an effect on the site, TTL conducted an environmental investigation on the soil and groundwater. The soil and groundwater samples were analyzed for the constituents of concern and methane. It was determined that Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs), and Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) Metals were detected in the samples taken.

Once these materials were detected, it was determined that these materials could be harmful to guests and the site was enrolled in the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) Voluntary Cleanup Plan (VCP). Under the VCP, TTL developed a Site Cleanup Work Plan that included design of a remediation system to mitigate the intrusion of the vapor materials into the hotel structure. The remedial design involved the installation of a methane mitigation system on the entire footprint of the structure. Then, a built-up vapor barrier system was installed on the sub-slab, and a mounted blower was attached to the piping and valve system to extract the harmful vapor materials from the ground and release them from a vent away from the building. TTL also installed methane monitoring devices on the first floor of the hotel to further monitor methane levels at the site.

With its new remedial system in place, Homewood Suites opened in March 2021, and ADEM issued a letter stating the environmental issues at the site had been addressed under the VCP put into place.

TTL would like to recognize both Ryan Costanzo and Ken Bailey, PE for their work on the project. The Alabama ACEC Awards were held on March 3rd in Birmingham, Alabama with TTL in attendance to receive the award. After receiving the Grand Award, TTL will represent ACEC Alabama at the ACEC EEA National Awards in Washington, DC in May.


Tennessee Outstanding Engineer of the Year

The Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers recognized TTL’s Michael Cochrane, PE as their 2022 Outstanding Engineer of the Year at the Middle Tennessee All Engineers Banquet on Friday, February 25th, 2022.

Mike, a graduate of both Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University, has a long history in Middle Tennessee as an engineer and consultant. He is known for his professionalism, quick wit, problem solving abilities, and engineering contributions to the Middle Tennessee area. With over 42 years of civil engineering experience as a professional engineer, Mike has been a leader on several local projects including the Vanderbilt University Medical Center One Hundred Oaks Mall Design and the Burton Hills development. In his free time, Mike enjoys golfing, spending time with his wife, Rita, and watching their grandsons’ athletic events. Mike is a past President of the TSPE Nashville section, is on the Lipscomb University Engineering School Advisory Board, has served as Post President for both the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Nashville and Ft. Campbell Posts, and was instrumental in the initiation of SAME’s Oak Ridge Post. As Senior Vice President of TTL, Mike currently leads the civil design and survey division company-wide

Congratulations Mike on this well-deserved award!