When LDA Engineering employee Terry Grubb was in high school, he would often go up to the Watuaga Lake area in Butler, Tennessee to take in the scenic wonder. “It has always been a beautiful, pristine place” he says. As a vice president and project engineer at LDA, Terry now has the chance to help introduce others to this lovely spot in Carter County.
Terry serves as the Discipline Lead on Mountain Ridge LLC’s resort project, which kicked off recently after owner/developer Dan Goodhall envisioned a way to do something special with property in the area that he and his family have been visiting for over a decade. Goodhall and his family have now moved full-time to the property and nearby areas and he envisions a multi-use resort community which will include an inn, restaurant, and a few cottages in its first phase. Goodhall sees the project being a real economic boost for Carter County, bringing numerous job opportunities for community residents in the areas of tourism and hospitality.
The team at LDA has begun supporting the project by conducting due diligence, a research phase which includes an assessment of the existing soils, infrastructure, topography, and zoning regulations among other development-related items. Ken Ross Architects is developing a master plan; design development – the “nuts and bolts” of how the designs will be applied to the project – for Phase 1 will begin shortly. LDA Engineering and Ken Ross Architects are also working with a contractor and a builder to complete the full team that will support this unique economic development opportunity.
According to Grubb, the challenges of the project center around water and wastewater infrastructure, as well as improved access to the property. To determine how to get services to the property, the team is currently developing the Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) — identifying infrastructure needs for both the owner/developer and the community, including cost estimates.
While there are always challenges in any engineering project, in this one the challenges provide an opportunity to be innovative with solution strategies and to be good stewards of the Watauga Lake area that Grubb enjoyed so much as a high school student years ago. He and the rest of the LDA team are looking forward to supporting Goodhall in contributing significantly to the economy of this part of East Tennessee.