ENR Midwest's judges carefully curated a list of 102 high-quality entries and returned just 36 winning entries, so far, for this year's ENR Midwest Best Projects.

The winners will be featured in-depth in the November edition of ENR Midwest and a live event, conforming to local ordinances related to the pandemic, is planned at the Renaissance Chicago in December to give out the awards to the winning project teams.

We'll also be honoring our Owner of the Year, the Indiana Department of Transportation, Contractor of the Year Clayco, Design Firm of the Year Stantec and Specialty Contractor of the Year Motor City Electric Co.

Our judges — Jen Tobias Hawkins, director of industry digital transformation at ViaTechnik; Laura Young, CEO of Griskelis Young Harrell; Ben Bunge, senior project manager at the Weitz Co.; Steve Zimmerman, associate principal at Wiss Janney Elstner Associates; Renato Gilberti, associate partner at BKV Group; William Haas, associated 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 bridge repairs to zoos and natatoriums.

The renovation and restoration and highway/bridge categories, once again, had some of the most competitive fields we have ever seen and most categories were difficult to winnow down to just one best project winner and award of merit. Two categories had two awards of merit. We also had one of the strongest energy fields ever with everything from combined cycle plant conversions to run-of-river dams converted to hydroelectric power. The water category brought everything from wastewater treatment plants to mostly natural water reclamation. Our safety judges, Jeff Emrick and Sam Mishelow, faced an a difficult task, again, in comparing safety projects across a wide swath of project types.

Any judges whose companies or firms made awards submissions were recused from judging the categories those submissions appeared in.

ENR Midwest will award a Project of the Year from the Best Project-level winners listed below. We’ll reveal the Project of the Year at our awards in December and watch this space for an announcement about the finalists. We will also be announcing the ENR Midwest Safety Award winners in the coming days.


Best Project: Duluth Sky Harbor Airport, Duluth, Minn.

Submitted by Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH®)


Best Project: Saint Louis Zoo Primate Canopy, St. Louis

Submitted by Tarlton Corporation

Award of Merit: St. Matthew's Catholic Church, Omaha, Neb.

Submitted by Boyd Jones


Best Project: West Riverside Energy Center, Beloit, Wis.

Submitted by Boyd Jones

Award of Merit: Red Rock Hydroelectric Project, Pella, Iowa

Submitted by Stantec

Government/Public Building

Best Project: Johnson County Courthouse, Olathe, Kansas

Submitted by JE Dunn Construction

Award of Merit: Will County Public Health Department, Joliet, Ill.

Submitted by Leopardo Companies, Inc.

Green Projects

Best Project: Flashcube Apartments, Kansas City, Mo.

Submitted by MW Builders

Award of Merit: 24 E. Washington (Macy's State Street), Chicago

Submitted by Clayco, Inc.

Health Care

Best Project: Omaha VA Ambulatory Care Center, Omaha, Neb.

Submitted by McCarthy Building Cos.

Award of Merit: SSM Saint Louis University Hospital Medical Campus Renewal Project, St. Louis

Submitted by Alberici Constructors, Inc.

Higher Education/Research

Best Project:Iowa State University Student Innovation Center, Ames, Iowa

Submitted by IMEG Corp.

Award of Merit: Michigan State University STEM Teaching and Learning Facility and Shaw Lane Power Plant Renovation and Classroom Addition, East Lansing, Mich.

Submitted by Granger Construction


Best Project: Brent Spence Bridge Fire Rehabilitation, Cincinnati, Ohio

Submitted by Michael Baker International

Award of Merit: Lakefront Trail Pedestrian Bridge, Chicago

Submitted by HNTB Corp.

Interior/Tenant Improvement

Best Project: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Morgan Park Solution Center, Chicago

Submitted by Pepper Construction Company

Award of Merit: Gilbane Building Company Chicago Office, Chicago

Submitted by Gilbane Building Co.

K-12 Education

Best Project:East Prairie School, Skokie, Ill.

Submitted by STR Partners LLC

Award of Merit: Marygrove Early Childhood Education Center, Detroit

Submitted by Barton Malow Holdings LLC

Award of Merit: Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep (CRSM), Waukegan, Ill.

Submitted by JGMA

Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Design

Best Project: Lick Run Greenway Project, Cincinnati, Ohio

Submitted by Kokosing Industrial


Best Project: Norix Global Holdings, West Chicago, Ill.

Submitted by Soltys Design Build LLC

Award of Merit: Fii High-Performance Computing Data Center, Mt. Pleasant, Wis.

Submitted by Mortenson


Best Project: 110 North Wacker, Chicago

Submitted by Clark Construction Group, LLC

Award of Merit: Innovation One, Madison, Wis.

Submitted by Findorff


Best Project: Old Cook County Hospital, Chicago

Submitted by Walsh Construction

Award of Merit: 24 E. Washington (Macy's State Street), Chicago

Submitted by Clayco, Inc.


Best Project: 100 Above the Park, St. Louis

Submitted by Clayco, Inc. and Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal

Award of Merit: Wolf Point East, Chicago

Submitted by Walsh Construction

Small Projects

Best Project: SOS Children’s Villages/Illinois’s Roosevelt Square Community Center, Chicago

Submitted by Lendlease

Award of Merit: Converting Organic Waste into "Liquid Gold," Muscatine, Iowa

Submitted by Stanley Consultants


Best Project:TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

Submitted by Turner Construction Co.

Award of Merit: TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park, Indianapolis, Ind.

Submitted by Shiel Sexton Co., Inc.


Best Project: Lock and Dams 24 and 25 Miter Gate Anchorages, Winfield, Mo.

Submitted by Massman Construction Co.

Award of Merit: Lincoln Biogas/Theresa Street Water Resource Recovery Facility Biogas Conditioning System, Lincoln, Neb.

Submitted by HDR

Award of Merit: Central Industrial District (CID) Green Infrastructure and Improvements Project, Kansas City, Mo.

Submitted by HNTB Corp.


Excellence in Safety Award: Locks and Dams 24 and 25 Miter Gate Anchorages, Winfield, Mo.

Submitted by Massman Construction Co.

Award of Merit: I-18-4430 Tri-State Tollway I-294 Mile Long Bridge, Willow Springs, Ill.

Submitted by F.H. Paschen

Award of Merit: 35W Minnesota River Bridge Design-Build, Burnsville and Bloomington, Minn.

Submitted by Ames Construction