For this year’s regional Best Projects competition, ENR Northwest received entries ranging from a billion-dollar public works project to a new clubhouse for a community organization. While the size and scope of entries ran the gamut, the 17 award winners have one thing in common: excellence.

Each year, ENR regional editors assemble a group of judges to review, score and determine the Best Projects winners. Panel members independently review entries, evaluate them on pre-specified criteria and then convene with fellow judges to compare impressions and scores. The panel then selects the Best Projects or award of merit winners.

For the Northwest region, which includes Alaska, Oregon and Washington, the 2019 judges were:

  • Brad Carpenter, associate principal, Clive Wilkinson Architects
  • Natasha Morris, associate principal, CollinsWoerman
  • John Schaufelberger, professor and dean emeritus, College of Built Environments, University of Washington
  • Kyle Womack, associate principal, Hennebery Eddy Architects Inc.

For 2019, the judges chose Washington State Dept. of Transportation’s Alaskan Way Tunnel Design Build (SR 99) as the Northwest’s 2019 Project of the Year, Excellence in Safety Award winner and Best Project in the highway/bridge category. Seattle’s nearly two-mile SR 99 tunnel has a 57.5-ft excavated diameter that is 200 ft deep at its lowest point. Now the largest soft-ground bored tunnel in the U.S., it is a crucial component of Washington’s $3.3-billion Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement program, one of the nation’s largest infrastructure projects.

Finalists for the Project of the Year award included First Tech Federal Credit Union Oregon Corporate Office and the University of Washington Life Sciences Building.

A separate panel of safety experts judge the regional Excellence in Safety awards. Safety judges consider each project’s overall safety program, OSHA recordable incident rate, lost-time accident rate and total work hours on the job. This year’s independent panel of safety experts included:

  • Jamal M AbuSneineh, principal safety consultant, Portland General Electric
  • John McKenzie, safety manager, JE Dunn Construction

All winning project teams will be honored at ENR Northwest’s annual Best Projects ceremony, which will be held in Seattle on Dec. 19.