ENR Mountain States magazine previously announced its 2014 Best Projects award winners at the end of August (see my previous editor’s blog on this website). Now, after tabulating final results and polling our judges, we are ready to announce the finalists for Best Overall Project of the Year in both the Intermountain and Colorado & the Plains areas.

 The voting for Best Overall Project of the Year was close, as always, but a handful of projects emerged as front-runners. To be considered for this honor, a project had to be a winner (first place) in its individual category and receive a first-place vote from more than one judge and at least two second-place votes from others.

The winners of this award will be announced at the breakfast award ceremonies in Salt Lake City (Oct. 28) and Denver (Oct. 30). Here are the finalists in alphabetical order.


Colorado/Wyoming Area Best Overall Finalists

 (in alphabetical order)

• Denver Union Station Transit Improvements, Denver

(Winner in the Airports and Transit category)

The DUS project transformed 42 acres of blighted former railyards into the centerpiece of a vibrant, bustling lower downtown Denver, anchoring and facilitating connections between the region’s transit systems. It includes a 22-bay underground bus concourse, street realignments and connecting public plazas. At $374.8 million, it is the largest recent multimodal project completed in the United States.

Entry submitted by: Kiewit

Contractor/Design-Builder: Kiewit

Lead Design Firms: AECOM & SOM

Owner/Developer: DUSPA


• Pecos Street Bridge Over I-70 Bridge Replacement, Denver

(Winner in the Highways & Bridges category)

 Since its completion, the $18.6-million Pecos Street Bridge Over I-70 Replacement Project has received national attention for its innovations. It was one of the first-ever CM/GC projects for the Colorado Dept. of Transportation and utilized accelerated bridge construction (ABC). In one 50-hour closure of I-70, crews demolished the existing Pecos Bridge and used self-propelled modular transports to move a 2,400-ton, fully built replacement bridge onto I-70 and into its final location. The project team cut eight months from the anticipated completion date.

Entry submitted by: Kiewit Infrastructure Co.

Contractor: Kiewit Infrastructure Co.

Lead Design Firm: Wilson & Co. Inc., Engineers & Architects

Owner/Developer: Colorado Dept. of Transportation


• Powerhouse Energy Campus at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.

(Winner in the Green Project category)


The large independent energy labs at the Powerhouse Energy Campus are one of the nation’s top academic laboratories. The campus has positioned CSU as a world leader in developing large-scale solutions to global-energy dilemmas. The expansion and renovation project, which is located in Old Town Fort Collins, maintained the building’s historical legacy and focused on demonstrating how the lab can serve as the building’s own engine. It is among the lowest-cost LEED-Platinum buildings in the country.

Entry submitted by: The Neenan Co.

Contractor/Design-Builder: The Neenan Co.

Lead Design Firm: The Neenan Co.

Owner/Developer: Powerhouse Energy Campus


Intermountain Area Best Overall Finalists

 (in alphabetical order)

• Energy Innovation Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho

(Winner in the Green Project category)

The Energy Innovation Laboratory was designed and built to stringent international green standards for its tenant, the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory. The 148,000-sq-ft lab consolidates INL’s research and development activities and houses INL research programs focused on modernizing America’s nuclear energy systems. The original goal of the project team was to attain LEED-Gold certification, but in fact, the project achieved LEED-Platinum, a rare accomplishment for a large research laboratory.

Entry submitted by: Battelle Energy Alliance

Contractor: Ormond Builders Inc.

Lead Design Firm: Plan One/Architects

Owner/Developer: REL Facilities LLC


• Lions Park Transit Hub and CRP Trail Project, Moab, Utah

(Winner in the Landscape/Urban Development category)

The Lions Park Transit Hub and Colorado River Pathway funnels bike and pedestrian traffic across U.S. 191 to the Moab Canyon Pathway. The trail dips into an underpass below S.R. 128, passes by a trail and transit hub and connects to a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Colorado River. The completed development consists of a pedestrian tunnel, a pre-engineered restroom building, a shade structure, a pedestrian bridge, three elevated bridges, 12 retaining walls, a new section of trail and a new transit hub.

Entry submitted by: Horrocks Engineers

Contractor: Flatiron Construction Corp.

Lead Design Firm: Horrocks Engineers

Owner/Developer: Grand County, Utah


• NuSkin Campus Expansion - Phase 1: Innovations Center, Provo, Utah

(Winner in the Office/Retail/Mixed-Use category) 

The 165,000-sq-ft NuSkin Innovation Center consists of a seven-story steel building on the south side and a three-story concrete building on the north side of the corporate campus. The structures are connected to each other and to the existing NuSkin Tower by a 320-ft-long, 62-ft-wide atrium, with glass bridges connecting the floors of the new buildings. The project also added a fountain in the new plaza.

Entry submitted by: Okland Construction Co. Inc.

Contractor: Okland Construction Co. Inc.

Lead Design Firm: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Owner/Developer: NuSkin International


The Best Overall Project of the Year winners will be announced at their respective Regional Best Projects Awards events in Salt Lake City (Oct. 28) and Denver (Oct. 30). Please plan to join us for the celebrations.

Information and registration for the Best Projects events is available at: http://construction.com/events/2014/best-projects/