The past year was a busy one for the Florida Dept. of Transportation. The state's first major public-private partnership project, the Interstate 595 widening job in Broward County, neared its completion. The $1-billion PortMiami tunnel project—unusual, if not unique, for the varying soil conditions endured—also eased toward its successful conclusion. And the DOT accepted a field of bids for the $2.1-billion Interstate 4 Ultimate P3 project in Orlando.

Arguably the biggest news was the start of construction of the long-delayed $1.7-billion Wekiva Parkway project. For many years—possibly decades—that long-planned project had stalled due to unresolved environmental concerns and the lack of any funding plan. That the state transportation agency was able to kick start this major project—and other delayed "game-changers"—was an impressive feat indeed.

And 2014 will be another big year for the state agency, with final selection of the I-4 Ultimate project team, and the start of another managed-lanes project in South Florida both scheduled to move ahead.

In recognition of its continuing effort to push the boundaries for financing and building projects, and undertaking other innovative efforts, ENR Southeast announces that the Florida Dept. of Transportation is this year's Owner of the Year.

ENR Southeast will publish a feature on FDOT in its upcoming March issue, where we'll detail the above factors, and others, behind this year's Owner of the Year selection.