Contractors, design firms, owners, subcontractors and other project stakeholders across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas submitted a total of 108 entries for this year’s ENR Texas & Louisiana Best Projects competition.

An independent jury of industry experts pored over the entries for six weeks and chose to honor 37 projects across 17 categories, including 16 Best Projects and 21 awards of merit.

All projects were completed between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.

Factors that played a role in the judging included collaboration and teamwork as well as project challenges and solutions. Also considered were safety records, innovative design and construction solutions, contribution to the construction industry and community, as well as design quality and construction craftsmanship. Entries were not accepted for projects with a construction-related death.

The 16 Best Projects winners will now advance to the national level to be considered for ENR’s Best of the Best awards, judging for which will begin in the coming months.

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.

Judges also selected a Project of the Year for the region. The three finalists were: West High School/Middle School (Best Project in K-12 education), Ford Center at The Star and Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters (Best Project in sports/entertainment), and West Bank and Vicinity Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction, Mississippi River Levee (Best Project in water/environment).

In addition to the main competition, judges determined the regional Excellence in Safety awards. Two safety experts reviewed more than 60 entries, ultimately selecting one winner and seven awards of merit. Key factors considered 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.

Each of the winning project teams will be honored at an awards luncheon in Houston on Oct. 18.