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  • Charles Hayes

Renovations announced

Updated: May 28, 2020

Officials at Denver International Airport (DEN) are most likely ready for new kinds of headlines in 2020 — ones that underscore progress on the airport's Great Hall Renovation project after a 2019 filled with controversy and a $1.8 billion public-private partnership (P3) that crumbled along the way.

Great Hall Partners (GHP), the P3 consortium led by Spanish company Ferrovial,  kicked off the $650 million overhaul of DEN's Jeppesen Terminal in July 2018, after which it was supposed to start a 34-year term as concessionaire.  But then, just a little more than a year later, DEN terminated GHP's contractfor convenience after disagreements around lower-than-expected-strength concrete that GHP said might pose constructability issues in the terminal; accusations by the consortium of micromanagement yet lack of oversight; as well as a two-year delay and $167 million of change orders submitted by Great Hall. The consortium is also asking for more than $121 million in termination fees.


Is it really time for the renovation of Denver International Airport?

However, DEN's managers are looking forward, after deciding to ditch the P3 model in favor of more traditional delivery methods and hiring Jacobs Engineering as a consultant. In October, it selected Hensel Phelps as the preferred construction manager and general contractor for Phase 1 and its contract willbe presented to the Denver City Council subcommittee for the Business, Arts, Workforce & Aviation for consideration on Feb. 5, according to Shellee Casiello, communications manager at DEN. An executed contract, which DEN hoped to have fully executed by March, will allow the Colorado-based contractor to complete Phase 1 of the Great Hall Project.

Aiming Completed Time

The airport will likely have to tap into its contingency to finish the project and make a deal with Great Hall, bringing the potential cost of the terminal renovation to $770 million, not including GHP’s termination fee. DEN is reportedly aiming for a 2024 completion.

“Denver International Airport.”

However, the goal in 2020, Casiello said, is to get Phase I construction underway again and work toward completion of the following:

  • Expansion of the Level 6 ticketing check-in area and construction of new airline ticket counters.

  • Widening of the balconies to make room for passengers to access the future Level 6 TSA security checkpoint.

  • Upgrade and modernization of the escalators.

  • Addition of new restrooms.

  • Upgrade of HVAC, lighting and fire alarm systems.

  • A refreshing of all finishes.

"We are hoping to know what the future phases will look like for the entire project by late summer this year," Casiello said. "We are excited to get going on the project again."

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