Denver’s Regional Transportation District’s West Rail Line project was one of the most significant construction projects of 2012, says the Associated General Contractors of America. As a result, the project’s contractor, Lakewood, Colo.-based Denver Transit Construction Group, was one of six firms to receive the association’s Alliant Build America Merit Award at the AGC national convention in Palm Springs, Calif., in early March.

“These (Build America award-winning) projects are shining examples of the construction industry at its finest, demonstrating tremendous skill, hard work and steadfast determination,” said Joseph H. Jarboe, the association’s president and senior vice president of Bethesda, Md.-based Clark Construction Group. “The winners are setting the standard by which all construction projects should be judged.”

Completion of the West Rail Line expands quality transit in the Denver metro area from Golden to downtown Denver. The line begins at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and traverses three different cities, which required intergovernmental agreements. In addition to 12 miles of light rail transit, the Denver Transit Construction Group built 13 bridges, two tunnels and 12 stations. Despite numerous challenges related to relocating utilities and property acquisition, the project was completed eight months ahead of schedule and under budget thanks to the team’s commitment to innovation and ingenuity.

The Alliant Build America Merit Awards recognize the nation’s most significant construction projects. A panel of judges, representing all areas of construction, evaluated an impressive number of submissions this year, assessing each project’s complexity, use of innovative construction techniques and client satisfaction, among other criteria. The awards are considered by many to be the most prestigious recognition of construction accomplishments in the U.S.