- Denver International Airport (DIA) officials, according to The Denver Post, have yet to agree with joint venture contractor Great Hall Partners on the extra costs and new schedule necessitated by the discovery of weak concrete during the $650 million Jeppesen Terminal renovation despite previous statements that it would have a resolution by this spring. A DIA spokesman told The Post that it now expects negotiations around the alleged defect to conclude this summer.
- Great Hall, which includes Ferrovial Airports, Saunders Construction and JLC Infrastructure, indicated in a December report that it had come across areas of concrete with a lower compressive strength than specified in its $1.8 billion public-private partnership agreement with the airport. This has helped contribute to a more than 20-month estimated delay for completion, up 10 months from Great Hall's December forecast.
- Work is still ongoing at the terminal, including in the areas where the weak concrete was found. In the December report, Great Hall said the concrete issue had slowed certain phases of work, including steel erection. The project reportedly has a $120 million contingency fund, but there is no indication yet that the airport will approve tapping that cash to pay for extra costs related to the concrete.
An early concern was that the concrete could be susceptible to alkali-silica reaction (ASR), a chemical reaction that can compromise integrity, but Great Hall has since said that the terminal's concrete does not show signs of ASR.
In 2007, ASR was one of the reasons — in addition to the freeze-thaw cycle and the use of de-icing agents — that the airport had to replace almost $11 million of runway concrete slabs. DIA's airfield consists of about 15,000 20-square-foot slabs that can be replaced individually, eliminating the need to tear up large areas of runway when crews need to make repairs.
Runway repairs are the sort of improvement that the Federal Aviation Administration pays for through Airport Improvement Program grants. The FAA awarded more than $3 billion in AIP grants during fiscal year 2018 and, earlier this month, announced an extra $779 million for infrastructure grants to 127 airports across all 50 states and Puerto Rico. In addition to runway rehabilitation and repair, the grant money will go toward other airport projects like taxiway and terminal maintenance.
In October, President Donald Trump signed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Act of 2018, reauthorizing the AIP program for another five years with an annual budget of $3.35 billion.