Selecting the Project of the Year is a hallmark of ENR MidAtlantic’s Best Projects annual awards competition. This year, ENR editors asked judges to select Project of the Year finalists before choosing an overall winner. To be considered as a finalist, a project had to be a Best Project-level winner in an individual category. The judges selected the following projects as finalists: Arlington National Cemetery Millennium Project, the Best Project in the landscape hardscape urban development category; Capital One Incubator Recruiting Office at University of Maryland, Best Project in the interior/tenant improvement category; CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction, Best Project in the airport/transit catergory; and U.S. 50 Severn River Bridge Median Barrier Replacement and Lane Reconfiguration, Best Project in the highway/bridge category. After much consideration, the judges selected CSX Virginia Avenue Tunnel Reconstruction as the Project of the Year. Spanning nearly a dozen city blocks in the heart of Washington, D.C., the project replaced a more than 100-year-old, single-track tunnel with two new tunnels. 

Overall, this year’s winning project teams—hailing from Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia—represent a variety of skills and industry best practices. In the design department, several judges cited the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., as one of the most impressive projects. The project team erected architectural structural-steel beams above an existing, active parking garage and retail center.

Two panels of industry judges reviewed 78 projects located throughout the region before selecting 31 winning projects. This year’s judges were Ashley Lickliter, vice president at Kimley-Horn; Erin Threet, assistant vice president at Herbert Rowland & Grubic Inc.; Pete O’Hara, executive vice president at ECS Mid-Atlantic LLC; Chuck Tomasco Jr., vice president at C3M Power Systems LLC; Barton Ross, president of Barton Ross & Partners LLC; Katy Hunchar, associate principal, director of marketing and business development at Ayers Saint Gross; and Winston Bain, senior traffic engineer at Whitman, Requardt and Associates.

Judges used several criteria to evaluate project teams, including ability to overcome challenges, contribution to the industry and community, safety and construction and design quality. Judges could select any combination of Best Project-level category winners and award of merit honorees. Projects had to be completed between May 1, 2018, and May 31, 2019. A separate safety expert, Eugene Besand, corporate safety director at Robinson Construction Co., served as this year’s safety judge. He reviewed more than 40 projects before selecting the Lackawanna Energy Center as the winner of the Excellence in Safety award. Lackawanna Energy Center also won a Best Project award in the energy/industrial category. Besand selected the Combined Heat & Power, Architect of the Capitol project as the safety award of merit winner.