Nearly 100 entries were submitted from across the Southern U.S. for ENR Texas & Louisiana’s 2016 Best Projects competition. The winners represent a wide array of construction projects from contractors, design firms and project stakeholders in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. The projects were completed between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016.

Judges evaluated a number of factors to pick the winners, including collaboration and teamwork, project challenges and solutions, and safety records. Innovative design or construction solutions, contribution to the construction industry and the community, plus design quality and construction craftsmanship were also considered. Entries were not accepted for projects with a construction-related death.

An independent panel of judges selected 34 Best Projects and award of merit winners across 18 categories, described in detail in the following pages. The 17 Best Projects winners will now advance to the national level to be considered for ENR’s Best of the Best awards.

To avoid conflicts of interest, if a judge worked for a firm directly involved in a submitted project, that panelist did not participate in the scoring for that category.

This year’s judges included Catherine Bezman, senior director, communications and marketing, Associated General Contractors of America, Houston Chapter; Dana Birkes, vice president, chief marketing officer, Clifford Power Systems Inc.; Meloni McDaniel, president and CEO, TEXO; Steve Penson, vice president, Austin Commercial; and Tom Sofranko, professor and associate dean, Louisiana State University School of Architecture/College of Art + Design.

Judges also selected a Project of the Year for the region. There were two finalists: LBJ Express (Best Project in the highway/bridge category and award of merit for excellence in safety) and  the William P. Hobby International FIS Expansion (Best Project in the airport/transit category).

Meanwhile, two safety experts pored over the more than 50 entries for this year’s Excellence in Safety Award, ultimately selecting one winner and four awards of merit. Key factors included lost-time and recordable incident rates versus total man-hours worked as well as execution and quality of jobsite-specific safety and health programs. The judges were Todd Holtz, vice president of safety, TEXO, and Steve Trickel, vice president, safety, health, environmental, Zachry Industrial Inc.

Teams from each of the winning projects will be honored at an awards luncheon in Houston on Oct. 19.