The winners in the 2017 ENR MidAtlantic Best Projects competition overcame both anticipated and unforeseen challenges. Meeting expected challenges, the Science Museum of Virginia team won a Best Project award in the cultural/worship category for inconspicuously hanging a Cold War-era spy plane inside a nearly 100-year-old refurbished and reinforced building. The team that won in the water/environment category—the South Potomac Supply Improvement Project in Temple Hills, Md.—halted an unexpected, emergency flood over the course of a weekend without derailing the project’s budget or schedule.  Both efforts exemplify the dedication displayed by all 33 winning teams that were entered into 16 categories in this year’s competition.

A panel of eight professionals from across the industry judged this year’s competition. Divided into two panels, the judges reviewed two different slates of projects. The Excellence in Safety Award and the award of merit for safety were selected by a separate jury of three safety experts.

The judges weighed the project teams’ ability to overcome challenges, the project’s contribution to the industry and community as well as its safety and construction and design quality. This year’s winners were selected from 66 submissions from across the region, which includes Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The projects had to have been completed between May 1, 2016, and May 31, 2017.

Judges had the option of selecting any combination of Best Project-level category winners and award of merit honorees. They also named an overall Project of the Year: the Elizabeth River Tunnels project in Virginia. The $2.1-billion multifaceted public-private partnership project was completed a year ahead of schedule. The project has saved the average commuter between 30 and 60 minutes round-trip, per day, according to the project team. The project is also ENR MidAtlantic’s Excellence in Safety Award winner. 

The award of merit in safety went to the MGM National Harbor Resort in Oxon Hill, Md., which also was an award of merit winner in this year’s most closely contested category, sports/entertainment. MGM finished behind the Cabrini University Athletic and Recreation Pavilion in Radnor, Pa. The Cabrini project team completed a 28,000-sq-ft expansion and 20,000-sq-ft interior renovation while areas of the complex remained open.