The State Route 101 HOV project and ASU’s Interdisciplinary Science & Technology Building 4 were two of the most significant construction projects of 2012, the Associated General Contractors of America announced.

The projects’ contractors, Omaha-based Kiewit and Tucson-based Sundt, a Joint Venture, and Sundt Construction, Inc., were two of six firms to receive the association’s Alliant Build America Merit Award.

ISTB 4 won the 2013 RED Award for Best Education Project and Sundt was named General Contractor of the Year at AZRE magazine’s 8th Annual RED Awards event last week at the Arizona Biltmore.

“These projects are shining examples of the construction industry at its finest, demonstrating tremendous skill, hard work and steadfast determination,” said Joseph H. Jarboe, the association’s president and senior vice president of Bethesda, Md.-based Clark Construction Group. “The winners are setting the standard by which all construction projects should be judged.”

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) project involved adding 30 miles of high-occupancy vehicle lanes to State Route 101L, in addition to adding auxiliary lanes, widening five bridges, reconstructing eight freeway ramps, and adding new retaining walls.

The project links three major local freeways and reduces traffic congestion in three cities. Although ADOT originally expected the project to take nearly two years and cost $120M, the project was delivered in 10 months and under the initial budget. Thanks to a “Nobody Gets Hurt” safety program, there was just one OSHA recordable injury in more than 300,000 man hours.

The 8-story, 298,000 SF education and research facility on the Arizona State University campus holds a meeting space, an auditorium and meteorite gallery, and a high-tech laboratory. The exterior is a combination of aluminum cladding panels, extrusions, 16-inch Emperor Brick, architectural concrete, vertical channel glass and a glass storefront and curtain wall.

The Sundt team completed this project a day early, while also adding $3.2M in researcher enhancements to the project during the course of construction.

The Alliant Build America Merit Awards recognize the nation’s most significant construction projects. A panel of judges, representing all areas of construction, evaluated an impressive number of submissions this year, assessing each project’s complexity, use of innovative construction techniques and client satisfaction, among other criteria.

The awards, which were announced during the association’s annual convention in Palm Springs, are considered by many to be the most prestigious recognition of construction accomplishments in the U.S.