ENR Midwest's judges sifted through a slate of 106 high-quality entries that made naming the winners of our 2018 Best Projects Awards a difficult task. The winners will be featured in-depth in the November 26 edition of ENR Midwest and we'll honor each winner at our annual Awards Breakfast, planned for November 28 this year at the Westin River North in Chicago. We'll also be honoring our Owner of the Year, Riverside Investment & Development; Contractor of the Year, Lendlease; Design Firm of the Year, American Structurepoint and our recently named Specialty Contractor of the Year, Mechanical, Inc. We'll also unveil our 2018 Legacy Award Winner at the breakfast.

The independent judges selected this year by ENR Midwest had a difficult task in one of the strongest groups of entries I have ever seen in more than 15 years of covering the construction industry. Each project type category required a Best Project to be named and each category has the option of naming Awards of Merit as well. We had several projects that won in more than one category. Our judges, Dana Gilberti, architect at Griskelis Young Harrell; Geoff Weisenberger, editor of Modern Steel Construction; Lynda Leigh, project manager at Turner Construction; Jeff Emrick, director of safety and compliance at Ozinga and Sam Mishelow, chief strategy officer at Meyer Najem Construction all generously donated their time and expertise in judging such a diverse and strong group of entrants and deserve our thanks. Our safety judges, Jeff Emrick and Sam Mishelow, also successfully lobbied to name the first Award of Merit for Safety on a Small Project this year, one with only a little more than 7,000 man-hours on it.

Our judges' final task will be to designate an overall Project of the Year from the Best Project-level winners listed below. We’ll reveal the Project of the Year at our awards and networking breakfast. Hope to see lots of our loyal readers there as well. Here are ENR Midwest's 2018 Best Projects.


Best Project: CTA Washington/Wabash Station, Chicago

Submitted by: EXP

Award of Merit: American Airlines Stinger Gate L, Chicago

Submitted by: F.H. Paschen


Best Project: The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

Submitted by: Bulley & Andrews


Best Project: Holland Energy Park, Holland, Mich.

Submitted by: HDR

Award of Merit: Rochester Public Utilities Westside Energy Station, Rochester, Minn.

Submitted by: The Boldt Company

Government/Public Buildings

Best Project: Army National Guard Readiness Center and Army Aviation Support Facility, Kankakee, Ill.

Submitted by: IMEG Corp.

Award of Merit: Fayette County Historic Courthouse Restoration, Lexington, Ky.

Submitted by: Messer Construction Co.

Green Projects

Best Project: Sunset Ridge School, Northfield, Ill.

Submitted by: Pepper Construction Company

Award of Merit: Messer Construction Co. Corporate Support Office, Cincinnati

Submitted by: Messer Construction Co.

Health Care

Best Project: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, Neb.

Submitted by: HDR

Award of Merit: Hennepin Healthcare Clinic and Specialty Center, Minneapolis

Submitted by: Mortenson Construction

Higher Education/Research

Best Project: University of Kansas Earth, Energy and Environment Center, Lawrence, Kansas

Submitted by: Turner Construction Co.

Award of Merit: Michigan State University Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, East Lansing, Mich.

Submitted by: SmithGroup JJR

Award of Merit: University of Chicago Physics Research Center

Submitted by: Perkins Eastman


Best Project: St. Croix Crossing, Oak Park Heights, Minn./St. Joseph, Wis.

Submitted by: HDR

Award of Merit: Trunk Highway 53 Relocation, Virginia, Minn.

Submitted by: Kiewit Infrastructure Co.

Award of Merit: Savanna-Sabula Deck-Tied Arch Bridge Replacement, Savanna, Ill.

Submitted by: Kraemer North America

Interior Design/Tenant Improvement

Best Project: CNA Corporate Headquarters Relocation, Chicago

Submitted by: Turner Construction Company

Award of Merit: Mead Johnson Nutrition, Chicago

Submitted by: Partners by Design

K-12 Education

Best Project: Missouri Innovation Campus, Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Submitted by: McCownGordon Construction

Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Design

Best Project: University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Union Redevelopment Phase II & Alumni Park

Submitted by: Miron Construction Co., Inc.

Award of Merit: Nicollet Mall Redesign and Reconstruction, Minneapolis

Submitted by: Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc.


Best Project: Trumpf Smart Factory, Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Submitted by: McShane Construction Company


Best Project: Wrigley Field Campus Development, Chicago

Submitted by: Hickory Street Capital

Award of Merit: Chamberlain Group Headquarters, Oak Brook, Ill.

Submitted by: Pepper Construction


Best Project: Rail & Commerce Building, Omaha, Neb.

Submitted by: Boyd Jones

Award of Merit: Promedica Headquarters Steam Plant, Toledo, Ohio

Submitted by: Rudolph Libbe Inc.


Best Project: Hilton Des Moines Downtown

Submitted by: The Weitz Company

Award of Merit: Detroit Foundation Hotel

Submitted by: Sachse Construction

Small Project (Under $10 million)

Best Project: Harrison/Dever Crib Complex Structural Renovations, Chicago

Submitted by: F.H. Paschen

Award of Merit: Lower Yahara River Trail Phase 1, Madison, Wis.

Submitted by: Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.

Award of Merit: The Foundry, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Submitted by: CSM Group

Specialty Construction

Best Project: Fayette County Historic Courthouse Underpinning, Lexington, Ky.

Submitted by: GeoStabilization International

Award of Merit: Milwaukee Bucks Arena Steel Erection

Submitted by: JP Cullen


Best Project: Ryan Fieldhouse and Walter Athletics Center, Evanston, Ill.

Submitted by: WSP

Award of Merit: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

Submitted by: Barton Malow

Award of Merit: Kansas City Urban Youth Academy and Parade Park Improvements

Submitted by: JE Dunn Construction


Best Project: Deep Rock Tunnel Connector Project, Indianapolis

Submitted by: Southland Holdings, LLC

Award of Merit: OARS Augmentation and Relief Sewer, Columbus, Ohio

Submitted by: DLZ

Award of Merit: Ann Arbor Wastewater Plant Treatment Facilities Renovation

Submitted by: Walsh Construction Company II, LLC

Safety Awards

Best Project: Trunk Highway 53 Relocation, Virginia, Minn.

Submitted by: Kiewit Infrastructure Co.

Award of Merit: University of Chicago Physics Research Center

Submitted by: Perkins Eastman

Award of Merit for Safety on a Small Project: The Foundry, Kalamazoo, Mich.

Submitted by: CSM Group