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Upgraded parking, lighting await visitors to Sokol Park North

The ribbon has been ceremoniously cut on the improvements to Tuscaloosa’s Sokol Park North, where a combined $6.6 million in upgrades has led to better vehicular access, parking, lighting, and drainage.

TTL was honored to serve our corporate hometown in providing survey, civil design, geotechnical engineering, construction administration, and construction materials testing services for this series of enhancements that also improved drainage to keep the new amenities safe and dry.
“Improving safety and the quality-of-life for the communities we serve are hallmarks of the TTL mission,” said Frank Summers, PE, TTL vice president. “We were proud to do our part for a better Sokol Park.”

The improvements to the park came in two phases, with the first being new turn lanes to ease access into and out of the park.
Phase II, which was celebrated on Tuesday, included 283 additional paved parking spaces, new lighting, and a new traffic circle along with the drainage upgrades.
“I think it’s very, very important for the future,” said Tuscaloosa Councilman Norman Crow, who represents this area as part of District 3, of the park improvements.
Tuscaloosa’s mayor agreed.

“Not only have we made this great park better, we’ve made it safer,” Mayor Walt Maddox said. “You never succeed without a lot of people coming together to make a difference.”

Career environmental engineer joins TTL

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.”

Career hydrogeologist joins TTL to lead environmental operations in Atlanta

Environmental consultant Lillian Furlow, PG, has joined TTL’s Atlanta office as our new vice president/environmental operations.

A native of Georgia and Emory University graduate, Lillian is a trailblazer in the environmental consulting industry. Inspired by her geologist father, who introduced her to the wonders of biology, archaeology, and paleontology, Lillian was the first woman – and second person overall – to graduate from Clemson University’s prestigious hydrogeology program, earning a Master of Science degree in 1994.

Since then, she’s built an almost 30-year career as a division/operations leader, principal project manager, and project delivery manager, overseeing more than 700 multidisciplinary environmental and engineering projects with revenues exceeding $100 million for public and private clients alike.

“I think big,” Lillian said, “and I plan to grow an empire.”

Throughout her career, Lillian has helped a national railroad client navigate environmental compliance regulations to gain residential acceptance. The result was a project that led to the construction of intermodal facilities and an increased use of railroad transport to reduce highway tractor-trailer traffic.

She’s also overseen the largest groundwater contaminant plume site in Alabama through years of litigation, depositions, and testimony, and went on to see that the strategy, remediation system performance, and safety conditions remained in compliance with state regulations.

“I’ve always loved science,” Lillian said, “and I love to mentor, inspire, and share my passion with staff.”

In October 2022, TTL made a concerted effort to bring its comprehensive suite of integrated infrastructure solutions to the Atlanta metro area, and TTL Vice President/Regional Manager Keith Reaves, PE, said recruiting Lillian was crucial to the firm’s planned growth efforts in this market.

“I think Lillian brings a unique perspective to our environmental consulting services group,” Keith said, “and I know her diverse project experiences and zeal for working with new partners will elevate TTL in the marketplace.”

Experienced proposal manager joins TTL Texas team!

Texas native Anna Whiting has joined TTL as Business Development Director-Texas.

After spending more than a decade as an environmental consultant collecting and analyzing soil and groundwater contamination, she transitioned to marketing and business development where her skills translated into instant success. As a proposal manager, her experience with the worlds of geotechnical and environmental engineering expanded to include civil, transportation, water/wastewater treatment, and buildings.

Now, she brings her skills and experience to TTL, where she plans to help expand our services deeper into the local municipal communities, industrial, and transportation sectors, among others.

“I hope I can make a positive impact not only the growth and expansion of TTL’s influence in Texas and helping our clients achieve their goals, but also in whatever way I can to help this office be more successful in the San Antonio area and bring value to our community,” she said.

A Class of ’05 Texas A&M University graduate with a bachelors in geology and minor in bioenvironmental sciences, Anna also is an avid cyclist and dog mom to a German Shepherd named Mia.

“We’re thrilled to have Anna join our team in Texas,” said TTL President and CEO Dean McClure. “We know there are lots of opportunities for growth in the Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio areas, and Anna’s background in this region makes her perfectly suited to help grow our office and expand into new markets.”

Western Riverwalk breaks ground!

Ground officially has been broken on the single largest phase of the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk.

Set to expand more than 2/3 of a mile into Western Tuscaloosa, this $8.8 million project will link a traditionally overlooked portion of the city to new educational and recreational investments along the Black Warrior River and downtown Tuscaloosa.

“This is a shared victory,” said Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox in a groundbreaking ceremony for the project on Monday, May 8. “Not one person, not one entity. It took a lot of people to make this happen.”

TTL is proud to be among that group.

In 2019, the City of Tuscaloosa chose TTL to conduct the engineering and design-related services for the Western Riverwalk expansion. Since then, we have performed the planning, survey, environmental, and civil design services needed to allow construction to begin.

Now, TTL is handling the construction administration and construction materials testing for the duration of the project that will extend the current 2.5-mile multi-use recreational trail another 4,100 feet westward from the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater to the Oliver Lock & Dam.

It’s also the latest investment into Western Tuscaloosa, where almost $250 million has been committed since 2005 to improving this region’s road, water, storm, communication, education, and recreational infrastructure.

“From the beginning, we knew the Western Riverwalk expansion was more than just a walking trail,” said TTL Project Manager Chris Crawford. “It is a lifeline to one day connect all areas of Tuscaloosa and bridge communities far and wide.”

TTL Named an ENR Top 500 Design Firm for 2023!

For the first time in its nearly 60-year history, TTL is proud to announce its debut as one of the nation’s Top 500 design firms by Engineering News-Record (ENR) for 2023. TTL, which offers integrated infrastructure engineering solutions across the Southeastern and South Central U.S., entered the list at No. 296.

“This recognition is a direct result of the commitment of our talented and dedicated team members to our clients, communities, and each other,” said TTL CEO Dean McClure. “Our personal connections with our clients allow us to understand their unique challenges and partner with them to provide better solutions, which this recognition by ENR acknowledges. “We are grateful to be included.”

Founded in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1964, TTL’s continued diversification of services and regional growth have culminated in its first ever ENR ranking.

ENR, considered one of the top publications in the engineering and construction industry, performs annual surveys ranking U.S.-based firms by major market categories in regional and national categories. The Top 500 list is based on revenue for design services performed in 2022, and the publicly and privately held companies and subsidiaries named to it are regarded as the best in the business.

Northport Moves Forward with Adventure Park Recreational Facility and Warrior Sports and Recreation Complex Masterplans

The City of Northport is planning its future as a regional entertainment and recreation destination.

As developed by TTL, master plans for two new outdoor activity centers – the Adventure Park Recreational Facility and the Warrior Sports and Recreation Complex – have been approved by the Northport City Council.

The improvements outlined in these plans will bring new amenities and enhanced benefits to the whole community. Prepared for locals and visitors alike, the features will provide new places for youth to play, students to learn, and residents to recreate.

“We are honored to have been chosen to help shape the future of Northport,” said TTL Vice President Franklin E. Summers III. “We worked diligently to bring the city’s vision closer to a reality with these master plans and can’t wait to see how they educate, entertain, and benefit children of all ages.”

And for those looking to take a stroll or gather with friends, these plans have something for them, too.

Details of the plans include:

Adventure Park Recreational Facility

  • Recreational trails for walking and hiking
  • Dedicated areas for extreme or casual mountain biking
  • Lodge for corporate and youth team building opportunities through a ropes course, zip lines, a manmade lake, and other amenities
  • Road and trail network capable of supporting seasonal activities
  • Pavilions with fire pits for lease or event usage

About TTL

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 more than 400 team members across the Southern United States, TTL provides a wide range of services, including civil, transportation, and geotechnical engineering; environmental consulting and remediation; testing, inspection, and observation of construction materials; and surveying.

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.