ENR Midwest's finalists for 2020 Project of the Year are the University of Wisconsin Hamel Music Center in Madison, Wis.; the Dublin Link in Dublin, Ohio, near Columbus; and Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minn. This is the first year in the last five that a project from Illinois did not make the top three.
The Hamel Center is the new home for UW-Madison musicians, a facility with state of the art acoustics and a nature-inspired design that created challenges such as cast-in-place concrete walls with acoustic openings built by submitting contractor JP Cullen of Janesville, Wis. It was the ENR Midwest Best Project in the Cultural/Worship category.
Allianz Field is the new home of the Minnesota United FC MLS soccer team. Its most striking feature is 88,000 sq ft of transparent, laminated PTFE that creates both the roof of the stadium and its exterior sides. When stretched over the stadium’s sweeping steel ribs, the flowing effect resembles the motion of Minnesota’s abundant waters because the PTFE wrap is backlit with 1,700 LED lights. A glow inspired by the Northern Lights that fill Minnesota skies in the late fall and winter can be created with the lights. Design architect Populous of Kansas City submitted the project which is a significant technological step forward for American soccer-first venues and even the sport's more mature European pro clubs... who call it football. Allianz Field is ENR Midwest's Best Project in the Sports/Entertainment project category.
The Dublin Link — which crosses the Scioto River in Dublin, Ohio, near Columbus — is the longest single-pylon, s-shaped bridge in the world with a 760-ft-long S curve alignment. The superstructure passes through a focal tower element which is a needle-hole concrete pylon. The main suspension bridge span is 500 ft long with four 65-ft approach spans. Its steel box girder is an asymmetric V which that looks like it changes shape as you cross the bridge and still maintains a 14-ft clear deck width from end to end. The tower is 176 ft tall and 110 ft tall from walking surface to the top of the pylon. The project was submitted by design engineer T.Y. Lin International of San Diego, Calif. The Dublin Link was ENR Midwest's Best Project in the Highway/Bridge category.
Check out the full list of our 32 Best Projects and Awards of Merit for 2020.
Our judges — Danielle Dy Buncio, President and CEO of ViaTechnik; Laura Young, CEO of Griskelis Young Harrell; Geoff Weisenberger, editor of Modern Steel Construction magazine; Steve Zimmerman, associate principal at Wiss Janney Elstner Associates; Lynda Leigh, project executive of the Willis Tower repositioning at Turner Construction; William Haas, associate vice president at AECOM; 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 a group of entrants that ranged from emergency railroad repairs, new building technologies and even a project that rethought how public housing is developed and built.
Congrats to all of the project of the year nominees and all of our winners!