ENR Midwest is pleased to announce the selection of Chicago Dept. of Aviation as its Owner of the Year for 2017. Each year, the magazine selects one owner or developer with active construction projects for the honor. With so much work going on throughout the Midwest, there's no shortage of innovative owners to choose from.

The agency administers Chicago O’Hare and Midway International airports. The self-supporting agency—meaning no local or state tax dollars go towards improvements or operations—generates more than $45 billion in annual economic activity. Each year, the airports handle more than 90 million passengers and 1.5 million tons of cargo.

With the O’Hare Modernization Program winding down, the city announced a new $1.3-billion round of airfield improvements at O’Hare, including a new $600-million center runway. In addition, American Airlines is adding more gates, and O’Hare plans additional international gates plus a reconfigured Terminal 2. An $800-million consolidated rental car facility (one of 2015’s top starts in the region) is just part of $2 billion in construction happening at the airport right now.

You can read more about Chicago Dept. of Aviation and its projects in the March edition of ENR Midwest. 

That issue will also feature a ranking of the biggest projects to break ground during 2016. The list will include 25 (or more) of the region’s largest starts. 

These top construction starts total tens of billions of dollars in construction activity. All of these projects are valued at more than $100 million. 

The project starts are listed alphabetically below. Be sure to read the March edition to learn where each of these projects rank, and to find out additional information such as construction costs and project teams. The Top Starts section will also feature interviews with key members from some of the project teams.

The following list is preliminary, and is subject to change as additional information becomes available prior to publication of the ranking. Think we've missed a project over $100 million that began construction in 2016? Please let us know in the comments field below. Note a project start is defined as the beginning of construction activity on the job site, as opposed to just the start of pre-construction or a formal ground-breaking ceremony. 

Apple Blossom 100-MW Wind Farm, Huron County, Mich.

Badger-Coulee 345 KV Transmission Line, Dane County, Wisc.

Black Dog Power Plant Coal Burner Replacement, Burnsville, Minn.

Cimarron Bend Wind Farm, Minneola, Kansas

Ford Motor Transmission Plant Renovation, Sharonvill, Ohio

GM Flint Assembly Plant Body Shop, Flint, Mich.

Ida Grove and O'Brien Wind Farms, Ida & Obrien Counties, Iowa

Kingman Wind Energy Center, Kingman County, Kansas

Lordstown Energy Center, Lordstown, Ohio

Omni Louisville Hotel, Louisville, Ky.

One Bennett Park, Chicago

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Generations Tower, Toledo, Ohio

Rock Creek Wind Farm, Tarkio, Mo.

St. Joseph Energy Center, Phase 1, New Carlisle, Ind.

Supernap of Michigan Data Center Facility, Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Sinclair apartment tower, Chicago

Twin Forks Wind Farm, Macon County, Ill.

University of Michigan Health System Brighton Health Center South, Brighton, Mich.

Vista Tower, Chicago

Western Plains Wind Farm, Spearville, Kansas

Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center, Milwaukee, Wisc.