City of Alcoa Celebrates Its Centennial

November 12, 2019

The City of Alcoa was chartered by the Tennessee General Assembly on July 1, 2019.  Only two months later, the City began its first paving and sewer program.  As the City of Alcoa celebrates this centennial year, LDA Engineering salutes the City and its Public Works and Engineering Department, which envisions a quality community built on foundations of the past and continuously improved services of the future.

The City of Alcoa has a population of 9,343 residents and covers 15.6 square miles.  One hundred years ago, the population hovered at a third of that, mostly consisting of families who had come to work for the Aluminum Company.  The Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) had come into the area a decade earlier, motivated by the nearby Little Tennessee River as a source of hydroelectric power for its envisioned aluminum smelting operation.  By 1914, an initial 700 acres had been purchased, initial construction had started on the plant, and 150 houses had been built for company employees.  World War I brought an increased need for aluminum, and the company continued to expand.  In the 1930s, the City was impacted by economic depression and unemployment, but was able to begin street and park improvements.

The City of Alcoa’s water storage, treatment and distribution systems were originally constructed by the company, so that it would have potable water for the three manufacturing plants and the growing number of employees who worked in them.  In 1960, the ownership and operation of the water systems was transferred to the City’s Public Works Department.  The department, now called the City of Alcoa Public Works and Engineering Department, has seven divisions.

Through its mission of supporting clients in developing STRONGER. HAPPIER. COMMUNITIES, LDA Engineering is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the City on projects and initiatives that serve its residents and businesses.  Recent work has included the City’s American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) transition plan, a water model of the distribution system, and support for the City’s initiative to use drones as a tool to improve services to customers.

To assist with the transition plan, LDA provided professional engineering services to the City to assist with completing an ADA review of their facilities for compliance with Title II of the ADA. This included the work required to complete a Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan (SETP) for client-owned and leased facilities, parks, and pedestrian right-of-way (ROW) facilities.

LDA also supported the City by developing a hydraulic water model of the City of Alcoa’s water distribution system, which has proven very useful to the Public Works and Engineering Department as it plans for the future of its water systems.

In addition, LDA has partnered with the City on its initiative to use UAVs, also known as drones, for a variety of public works projects.  With a successful UAV program and associated team in place, LDA has been able to serve as a consultant and support to the City on the complex issues inherent to a UAV program, helping it address those issues and move forward with its plan to use drones in many areas of city services.

LDA Engineering congratulates the City of Alcoa on its very special centennial year and wishes the City the best as it moves into its next century of serving the community.