ENR Midwest is proud to announce the winners of its annual Best Projects Awards. We had more than 100 entries that our independent group of judges evaluated, scored and determined final winners for, so it was no small task to whittle that list down. Our winners include a skyscraper built on top of an active rail line near the Chicago River, several innovative office buildings, the meticulous restoration of a state capitol building, multiple rail projects that brought service to underserved downtowns in large cities, one of the largest LEED-platinum corporate offices in the U.S., retrofits to aging coal-fired electrical plants that brought them into modern environmental compliance and some healthcare projects that put patients first.

All of this year’s winners will be profiled in depth in the November print edition of ENR Midwest. ENR Midwest will also honor each winning project at our November 29 awards luncheon at the Westin Chicago River North. We will also recognize the firms that were selected throughout the year as the region's owner, design firm, contractor and specialty contractor of the year at the luncheon.

For more information on the event, or to register, click here.

As with our other awards programs, this year’s Best Projects featured an expanded region that added “new” states including Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, and Nebraska to the “old” region that only comprised Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. The new 342,000 square miles of construction markets added some great projects to our coverage area, many of whom came away with awards.

How do we determine what is a Best Project? Every year, ENR Midwest assembles independent judges from architecture, engineering and construction firms in the area. After an initial scoring of projects, the judges—via two separate panels—met via teleconference to discuss the projects and come to a consensus on awards. Judges could select any combination of Best Project-level category winners and Award of Merit honorees. It was not an easy task to narrow down so many great entries and this year’s judges deserve praise for the rigor they brought to the task.

ENR Midwest extends its thanks to Randy Bredar, SVP at JE Dunn Construction; Renato Gilberti, senior architectural designer at BKV Group; Greg Douglas, VP of construction innovation at Miron Construction Company; Sam Mishelow, chief strategy officer at Meyer Najem Construction; Shawn Anderton VP at Graycor Industrial Constructors; Jeff Emrick, director of safety and compliance at Ozinga Bros. (who led our safety judging) and Peter Nielsen, sr. project manager at IHC Construction for judging so many entries and delivering a professional, well-debated slate of winners.

Here are this year’s Best Projects award winners. Congrats to all!


Best Project: Milwaukee Intermodal Station Train Shed and Platforms Renovation

Submitted by: JP Cullen

Award of Merit: Detroit’s M1 Rail Streetcar Project

Submitted by: HNTB

Award of Merit: Cincinnati Streetcar/Bell Connector

Submitted by: WSP USA


Best Project: Church of the Resurrection Sanctuary, Leawood, Kansas

Submitted by: McCownGordon Construction

Award of Merit: Chicago Botanic Garden – The Regenstein Learning Campus

Submitted by: Turner Construction Company


Best Project: Coal-Fired Plant (Dry Sorbent Injection) DSI and ACI (Activated Carbon Injection) Installation for Mercury and Toxics Standards Compliance, four plants in Metropolitan Detroit

Submitted by: Barton Malow Company

Government/Public Buildings

Best Project: Minnesota State Capitol Repairs, Restoration and Preservation

Submitted by: JE Dunn Construction

Green Projects

Best Project: Zurich North America Headquarters, Schaumburg, Ill.

Submitted by: Clayco, Inc.

Award of Merit: Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, Oberlin, Ohio

Submitted by: IMEG Corp.

Health Care

Best Project: The University of Chicago Medicine Center for Care and Discovery

Submitted by: Gilbane Building Co.

Award of Merit: Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, Chicago

Submitted by: Arcadis US, Inc.

Award of Merit: Lake Forest Replacement Hospital, Ill.

Submitted by: Turner Construction Company

Higher Education/Research

Best Project: University of Iowa Visual Arts Building, Iowa City

Submitted by: Miron Construction Co., Inc.

Award of Merit: Ohio State North Residential District Transformation, Columbus

Submitted by: Messer Construction Co.


Best Project: Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project East End Crossing

Submitted by: Parsons Corporation

Award of Merit: Hennepin County Franklin Avenue Bridge Restoration, Minneapolis

Submitted by: Kraemer North America, LLC

Award of Merit: Adams Street Viaduct and Rehabilitation of the Adams Street double-leaf, Chicago-Style Trunnion Bascule Bridges

Submitted by: Milhouse Engineering & Construction, Inc.

K-12 Education

Best Project: Legacy Charter School, Chicago

Submitted by: W. B. Olson, Inc.

Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Design

Best Project: Chicago Riverwalk

Submitted by: Alfred Benesch & Company


Best Project: Riddell North Ridgeville, Ohio

Submitted by: Peak Construction Corporation


Best Project: 150 N. Riverside, Chicago

Submitted by: Clark Construction Group, LLC

Award of Merit: Downtown East Minneapolis

Submitted by: Ryan Companies

Award of Merit: Cerner Innovations Campus, Kansas City

Submitted by: JE Dunn Construction


Best Project: The Lofts at River East, Chicago

Submitted by: Ghafari Associates LLC

Award of Merit: Eleven25 at Pabst, Milwaukee

Submitted by: Blue Ribbon Management


Best Project: University of Chicago Campus North Residential Commons

Submitted by: Mortenson Construction

Award of Merit: Hilton Cleveland Downtown

Submitted by: Turner Construction Company

Small Project (Under $10 million)

Best Project: West River Parkway Landslide Slope Repair, Minneapolis

Submitted by: Barr Engineering Co.

Award of Merit: Southwest Wet-Weather Control Facility, Elmhurst, Ill.

Submitted by: RJN Group, Inc.

Specialty Construction

Best Project: Water Jet Peening Crane, Burlington, Kansas

Submitted by: Merrick & Company


Best Project: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Ind.

Submitted by: Shiel Sexton Company

Award of Merit: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Submitted by: AECOM Hunt


Best Project: Lake Delhi Dam Reconstruction, Iowa

Submitted by: Stanley Consultants

Safety Award

Best Project: University of Chicago Medicine Center

Submitted by: Gilbane Building Co.

Award of Merit: US 69 Missouri River Bridge, Platte County, Mo.

Submitted by: American Bridge Company