The APWA Public Works Project of the Year Award was established to promote excellence in the management, administration, and implementation of public works projects by recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the consultant/architect/engineer, and the contractor who work together to complete public works projects.

Awards are given in four divisions:

  • Projects less than $5 million
  • Projects of $5 million, but less than $25 million
  • Projects of $25 million to $75 million
  • Projects more than $75 million

And five categories:

  • Structures—to include new public structures or the preservation or rehabilitation of existing public structures including, municipal buildings and parks. Other structures as defined in the Historic Restoration/Preservation and Transportation categories shall not be considered in the structures category
  • Transportation—to include roads, bridges, mass transit that serve any or all modes of travel, including bicycles and foot traffic. Other transportation projects as defined in the Historical Restoration/Preservation and Structures categories shall not be considered in the Transportation category
  • Environment—to include treatment and recycling facilities, landfill reclamation projects, and sewer projects
  • Historical Restoration/Preservation—to include historical restoration, preservation, and adaptive reuse of existing buildings, structures, and facilities, that are 75 years or older to qualify as historical
  • Disaster or Emergency Construction Repair—to include the techniques and timing for safety, community relations, environmental protection, adverse conditions, and additional considerations.


Public works projects must be developed, owned, and maintained by public agencies. To be eligible for nomination, a project must have been “substantially completed” and available for public and/or agency use within two calendar years prior to nomination. If a project has multiple phases or segments, then “substantially completed” will be construed as that point when the final phase or segment is 90 percent completed and available for public and/or agency use.

A project may only be nominated once for recognition as “Project of the Year” under any category.


The Project of the Year Committee reviews the nominations and selects the award winners.


Criteria to be used in the selection process include:

  1. Use of good construction management techniques and completion of the project on schedule
  2. Safety performance and demonstrated awareness of the need for a good overall safety program for workers and the public during and after construction, where applicable
  3. Community relations as evidenced by efforts to minimize public inconvenience due to construction, safety precautions to protect public lives and property, provision of observation areas, guided tours, or other means of improving relations between agency and the public
  4. Demonstrated awareness for the need to protect the environment. This includes any special considerations given to particular environmental concerns raised during the course of the project, as well as climate change and/or resiliency components for long-term community benefit
  5. Unusual accomplishments under adverse conditions including, but not limited to age or condition of the facility, adverse weather, soil or other site conditions over which there is no control
  6. Additional conditions deemed of importance to the public works agency, such as exceptional efforts to maintain quality control and, if value engineering is used, construction innovations as evidenced by time and/or money saving techniques developed and/or successfully utilized
  7. Use of alternative materials, practices, or funding that demonstrates a commitment to sustainability, climate change resiliency, and/or use of sustainable infrastructure rating system or the equivalent.

Nomination Process

Nominations of projects can be made by the managing public agency or APWA chapters. Submissions are limited to 20 pages.  Please address each of the following areas in your nomination, adhering to the sequence above.  No letters of recommendations, please.  Simultaneous nomination of the same project in both Public Works Project of the Year and SC/RC Project of the Year or in two categories is not permitted.

Nominations not chosen in a specific year for the Public Works Project of the Year, or the Small Cities/Rural Communities Award cannot be resubmitted in a subsequent year.

Projects that involve or reside within two or more chapters location can be co-nominated. Each chapter will receive credit to submit a PACE nomination. All Chapters must be identified on the nomination form and before the nominations are judged.


March 4, 2024, 11:59 p.m. Eastern time; electronic submittals only


A designated representative of the public agency, contractor, and consultant are presented a plaque at the Awards Recognition Ceremony during PWX, and winners are featured in APWA publications.