In its most recent report on the status of the $650 million renovation of the Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport, Great Hall Partners, the consortium performing the work, said the project won't be complete until at least 2024, three years behind the original schedule. This is a huge departure from the 10-month delay the group projected earlier this year.
In the Great Hall report, the group said the delays are primarily due to areas of weaker-than-expected existing concrete discovered in the terminal after construction started, but it doesn't get into specifics as to exactly what it is about the concrete — or any other changes — that has caused the project to get so far off track. Great Hall also added that if some of the milestones in the current timeline cannot be achieved, it could add another 233 calendar days to the schedule.
In February, the airport said that questions around the compressive strength of the concrete in the Jeppesen Terminal would likely be resolved by April, but that date has come and gone without a definitive answer.
An independent consultant hired by the airport said there were no safety issues presented by the terminal concrete's current condition but recommended additional testing elsewhere around the airport property to check for a condition known as alkali-silica reaction (ASR). ASR causes concrete to swell, crack and become weak, but only traces were found in the terminal.
Great Hall has a contract worth almost $2 billion for the renovation project, but that also includes a 34-year concession management agreement. The money to fund the contract is coming from airport revenue, so Denver taxpayers are not directly on the hook for any cost overruns.
The problems could impact investors in the P3, including one very high-profile individual. An equity partner in the P3 is JLC Infrastructure, an investment fund co-founded by NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson. In addition to its participation in the Denver airport project, JLC is also an investor in the $4 billion Central Terminal B project at LaGuardia International Airport in New York City, which is being led by the LaGuardia Gateway Partners consortium.