- Denver International Airport (DEN) won approval last week from the Denver City Council to proceed with construction on the third and final phase of its Great Hall project.
- As the construction manager and general contractor, Hensel Phelps will oversee the final $1.3 billion phase of the project. The more than $2 billion overall cost of the renovation project will be almost three times the original budgeted amount, according to Airline Weekly.
- The timeline for the project has been extended as well, with work now scheduled to be complete in 2028, seven years later than initially planned.
The Great Hall project was originally budgeted to cost the city a total of $770 million, according to Airline Weekly. But after problems that included squabbles over delays and cost escalation, as well as the termination of the original construction team led by Ferrovial, Phases I and II alone were estimated to cost $770 million.
DEN senior communications director Mindy Crane said the third and final phase is budgeted at $1.3 billion, and will be funded by airport revenues rather than taxpayer dollars. This completion phase budget is based on remaining work for the program, along with the anticipated market escalation and risk profile established for the project budget, Crane said.
The Great Hall Completion project will include:
- New and improved security checkpoints that include additional lanes of screening to increase capacity by 60%.
- Modular check-in spaces for all airlines, providing improved flexibility for airline expansion and other future needs.
- Up-to-date and expansive ticketing areas.
- Upgraded restrooms and new flooring, lighting, heating, cooling and fire protection systems.
- Comfortable passenger arrival spaces to meet and greet passengers.
- Creation of the Center of Excellence and Equity in Aviation.
The Great Hall project is a component of a more significant expansion involving 39 new gates and other upgrades to the 25-year-old airport that will double its original 50 million yearly passenger capacity. DEN is currently the third busiest U.S. airport and among the 10 busiest in the world.
"Challenges that have played into this process in the past have been maintaining the passenger experience with an operating terminal, while still ensuring all work is constructible," Crane said. "DEN has mitigated these challenges by working hand in hand with all trades on the project, ensuring the design team and the construction team are aligned. DEN also works actively with project stakeholders to communicate construction impacts and changes within the terminal."