TTL is Building a Stronger South Georgia
Monday, May 18th, 2015
If a commercial or industrial structure is being built or pavement is being laid in southern Georgia, then chances are TTL has consulted with the owners, architects or structural engineers on site preparation or the types of footings to be used. The company provides geotechnical engineering, analytical/laboratory testing, environmental consulting and material testing.
"Our clients are typically involved in industrial or commercial construction that can range from a small convenience store to a large multi-story structure," said Matt Gaston, P.E., who became branch manager of the TTL office in Albany about a month ago after working for 15 years in the TTL Valdosta office.
Headquartered in Tuscaloosa, Ala., TTL has approximately 180 employees in seven offices across Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. The company has more than 50 years of experience and several high-profile projects to its name. For example, TTL was selected to provide seismic analysis, geotechnical engineering, environmental consulting and construction materials testing services for the 1.2-million-square-foot Music City Center convention center project in Nashville, Tenn.
Closer to home, TTL has performed numerous geotechnical investigations and provided foundation and site preparation recommendations for many local structures such Phoebe Medical Tower and Sherwood Baptist Church. Additionally, TTL has provided construction materials testing during site grading, foundation installation, concrete placements, masonry construction, structural steel erection and parking lot construction for most of these projects.
Driven by new construction
Much of TTL's business is contingent on new construction. Commercial construction slowed in South Georgia in 2009 but has recently been showing signs of recovering, according to Gaston.
"We're now very busy, particularly with municipality-related work. We are seeing a lot of activity with municipalities building sewer lines, treatment facilities and roadways," Gaston said.
"We're also seeing movement in the transportation sector at the state level with new and existing roadways being built and/or repaired."
According to a report released in February by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based national transportation organization, the efficiency and condition of Georgia’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $378 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Georgia and another $413 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Georgia, mostly by truck. The study also found 10 percent of the state's major urban roads are in poor condition and 16 percent of the state's bridges are in need of repair, improvement or replacement.
Currently, TTL holds a five-year contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to provide roadway-testing technicians.
"Whenever soil and asphalt are being placed on GDOT projects, we are involved, so good things are happening in transportation," Gaston said.
Building a future workforce
One of the biggest challenges the company faces is finding labor to fill its contracts, according to Gaston. Currently, TTL in Albany is looking for field engineering technicians and engineers.
"What we do is unique in the area so it's hard to find experienced people. Instead we look for people with a good work ethic who aren't intimidated by a construction setting and then we provide the training they need," Gaston said.
To ensure a ready supply of labor in the future, TTL piloted a program in Tuscaloosa, Ala. in 2007 at Martin Luther King Elementary School to help increase literacy and encourage reading skills. Building on a reading program already in place in the school system, TTL provided $5000 towards incentives for students in reading and comprehension. Students acquire "reading bucks" after successfully completing a comprehension test. They can save and exchange the bucks for prizes purchased by TTL, such as bikes, footballs, dolls, games and more. The program has been expanded to five other cities in the Southeast where TTL has an office. In Albany, TTL partners with Turner Elementary.
“At TTL we try to see the big picture. We know that these kids are our future. The investment that TTL makes into this program is not just rewarding kids for reading a book, but rewarding the kids for demonstrating reading comprehension. Ultimately, we know a strong reader will one day benefit not only TTL but also our community," Gaston said.
More information on TTL is available at www.ttlusa.com.