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Denver Airport Proposes Contracts for Expansion

Thursday, November 2, 2017

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Denver International Airport has proposed the addition of 39 gates in an expansion, which is up from the original proposal of 26.

The project is estimated to cost $1.5 billion, according to The Denver Post, and is part of a public-private partnership headed by private partner Ferrovial Airports. The overall deal, which includes a four-year, $650 million terminal renovation, will be overseen by Saunders Construction. Cost estimates for the actual expansion were not yet available, however.

The expansion is slated for completion in 2021.

Airport Expansion Contracts

For the airport’s expansion, DIA officials are looking to expand the current traveler capacity—which stands at 50 million annually—to 80 million. In 2016 alone, 53.8 million travelers passed through DIA.

In late October, airport officials filed summaries of four proposed contracts with design and construction firms in the Denver City Council. Heavy scrutiny from councilmembers is expected, according to the Post, and final votes could be seen as early as Nov. 13.

Two contracts for architectural and design work, each worth $65 million, are being considered by Jacobs Engineering and HNTB Corp. The other two construction contracts see one totaling at $655 million with a Holder-FCI joint venture, and another amounting to $700 million with a Turner-Flatiron venture.

Each contract has a five-year term, with three one-year extensions available if needed.

DIA Design

Currently, the DIA has 107 regular gates and 42 “apron load” positions, according to the Post. The apron load area allows passengers to board smaller planes on the tarmac.

The proposed expansion would increase the total of regular gates by 36 percent.

The airport, which was originally opened in 1995, features a telescoping design of three original concourses, spokesperson Stacey Stegman told the Post. An underground passenger train connects the three long buildings to the terminal.

What makes the expansion possible is the airport’s telescoping design, which can be seen most on either end of each concourse.

The airport currently serves United, Southwest and Frontier, along with smaller airlines. 

Expanding Concerns

“As someone who’s been all over DIA since there was nothing but a grange hall out there in the prairie, I understood there would come a day when this expansion would be necessary,” council member Kevin Flynn told the Post.

“We’re fortunate the airport was designed specifically for this type of expansion, but what I look forward to determining is whether this is the time and the price.”

Wayne New, who serves as the vice chair of the Business, Arts, Workforce & Aeronautical Services Committee, said that, while he understood the basis for the expansion, DIA officials need to provide more information about the project to the public.

“I want to see how they justify the number of gates they’re recommending,” New added. “I’m sure they have that information—they just ought to show it.”


Tagged categories: Airports; Commercial Construction; Renovation

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