For more than 10 years now, ENR Southeast (formerly Southeast Construction) has been publishing a ranking of the region's largest projects to start construction during the preceding calendar year. In the past, we've usually published this "Top Starts" ranking in June, but for 2011 we've moved this feature up in the schedule and will be publishing it in March.

Another change we've made is this blog. Here, we're going to preview the "Top Starts" ranking as it comes together. And we're also going to be asking for your input. Know of a project that you think fits the bill but don't see it here? Write a comment below.

Better yet - If your firm has a project that you think should be included, link to our online Top Starts survey and submit your project information that way.

Also, if you see some information about one of the projects listed that you think is inaccurate, tell us about it with a comment below and we'll follow up. We definitely encourage you to provide your feedback. We think hearing from our readers is an important step in making this year's ranking as complete and authoritative as possible.

Despite these changes, the "Top Starts" ranking will be much the same as in past years. It will rank, by construction contract value, the 25 largest projects in the region of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas that started construction during the preceding 2010 calendar year. 

Editor's Note: Some of the projects listed in this blog may be placed tentatively until we confirm that their respective contract values and start dates conform to the annual ranking's requirements. So, be sure to look for the final, published list in the March issue of ENR Southeast.

With that, here's a look at some of the projects contending for inclusion on the "Top Starts" ranking. As bad as 2010 was for much of the industry, quite a few very large projects moved forward, often by virtue of federal funding or alternative contract delivery, or both. (Final ranking yet to be determined.)

1) Southern Company's multi-billion-dollar Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Burke, Ga.

2) Walt Disney World's expansion and "re-do" of its existing Fantasyland area, reported with a total cost of as much as $650 million, got started with much fanfare.

3) The $607-million Port of Miami Tunnel project calls for Miami Access Tunnel to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the facility feeding the Port of Miami.

4) Zachry Corp. of Texas is building a $400-million combined-cycle "repower" project at FPL's existing Canaveral and Riviera plants at Cape Canaveral, Fla.

5) The $390-million I-4/Selmon Crosstown Connector in Tampa is being built by a joint venture of PCL Civil Constructors and Archer Western Contractors for a partnership of the Florida Dept. of Transportation, Florida's Turnpike and the Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority.

6) Southern Natural Gas Co.'s El Paso Energy Corp. of Houston started work last February on its $350-million South System Expansion III project, which feeds a Southern Company plant in the Atlanta area.

7) Legoland Florida, under construction at the former Cypress Gardens property in Florida, has been estimated at $300 million.

8) Brasfield & Gorrie's Lake Mary, Fla., office landed a $260-million contract to design-build a 1.1-million-sq-ft hospital for Orlando's Veterans Administration Medical Center.

9) Stride Contractors, an affiliate of OHL USA, won a $162-million design-build contract for the Turnpike Service Plaza Reconstruction Project to remodel or replace seven plazas in Broward, Palm Beach and Sumter counties.

10) Georgia Biomass is building a $160-million Wood Pellet Plant in Waycross, Ga., that will convert cellulosic biomass into industrial wood pellets to be used in coal-fired power plants.

11) Another Brasfield & Gorrie health-care project, the $140-million Moses Cone Memorial Hospital Tower in Greensboro, N.C., started last October.

12) Then there's the $136-million design-build contract that the North Carolina Dept. of Transportation awarded to a joint venture of Flatiron Constructors and Lane Construction Corp. for improvements to Interstate 85 and the Yadkin River Bridge.

13) Turner Construction's latest contract to renovate and expand Harrah's Cherokee Hotel Casino in Cherokee, N.C., has a total construction cost of $130 million.

14) In South Carolina, Myrtle Beach International Airport started construction in December on its $118-million, 240,000-sq-ft new terminal.\

15) In Davie, Fla., AECOM started work last August on a $108-million design-build contract to expand and update the town's water and wastewater infrastructure system.

16) A joint venture of Turner Construction and New South Construction of Atlanta is building the $101.8-million Douglas County Adult Detention and Law Enforcement Center in Douglasville, Ga.

17) Batson-Cook Co. started last fall on a $100-million contract for the Wolfson Children's Hospital Adult Tower in Jacksonville, Fla., for Baptist Medical Center.

18) BE&K Building Group started construction last spring on a $94.7-million contract for the Piedmont Newnan Hospital Replacement Facility in Newnan, Ga.

19) Health-care contractor Robins & Morton started work in late 2010 on its $82-million Wesley Chapel Medical Center project in Wesley Chapel, Fla., near Tampa.

20) Arellano Construction, part of OHL Group, began construction on the $80-million South Miami Hospital Clinical Expansion in June of last year.

There are other contracts that we're reviewing for possible inclusion on the list. We're also looking to hear from you, too! So let us hear from you, and check back to this blog to see how the ranking's progressing. We're working to update and expand the list as quickly as possible.

Again, just post your comments below if you'd like to suggest some changes or additions to the ranking. And if you'd rather send me your comments directly, feel free to email me at

Also - Follow us on Twitter @SEConstruction, and also @ENRNews.