The 2019 Best Projects competition in the Mountain States featured more than 150 entries, by far the highest number ever entered in the contest’s nearly 20-year history. Projects were judged on design and construction quality, contribution to the community and the industry, and how they overcame unusual challenges through teamwork and innovation.

To be eligible, projects had to be located in any of the seven states comprising the Mountain States region: Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota and South Dakota. Projects with a construction-related fatality on the jobsite were not allowed to enter.

This year’s Best Projects judges were: Michelle Mongeon Allen, JLG Architects; Jill Burrell, Ditesco; Tim Erickson, HDR Engineering Inc.; Ibi Guevara, Hunt Electric; Robb Harrop, Architectural Nexus; Colton Koncak, CRB; Ryan Odell, PCL Construction Services; Andrew Safulko, Terracon Consultants Inc.; Tylor J. Slauter, AECOM; Brian Valentine, Kimley-Horn; and Jeffrey S. Watkins, Van Boerum & Frank Associates Inc.

The judges who evaluated the more than 80 safety award entries were all veterans from previous years’ panels: Tim Batz, risk control team leader, IMA Inc.; Rick Zellen, senior risk engineer, Zurich North America; and Matt Ogle, safety director, JE Dunn Construction.

In addition to the category winners, judges chose by consensus one project from the Colorado, Wyoming and Dakotas side and one from the Intermountain area (Utah, Idaho and Montana) to stand as Projects of the Year—entries that clearly outdistanced the other winners. They are selected from a list of three finalists in each area.

The following are the Project of the Year finalists on the Colorado side: the Amick Building Restoration & Hyder Office Tenant Improvement project in Denver, Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, and SugarSquare, also in Denver. Finalists for the Intermountain area are Olmsted Hydroelectric Plant, Orem, Utah, UVU’s Noorda Center for the Performing Arts, Orem, Utah, and Salt Lake City Fire Station No. 3.