Massive CO Airport Reno Timeline Released


Work on Denver International Airport’s massive renovation kicks off this week, marking the beginning of a multi-year, multi-phase process that will cause detours and require a demanding amount of coordination during construction.

The $650 million Great Hall project alone will require the renovation of nearly every public space in what is functionally the entrance to the United States’ fifth-busiest airport.

Project History

The gate-expansion 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. Work will be overseen by Saunders Construction, with the expansion slated for completion in 2021. Overall, this project is part of a $1.8 billion deal for the Jeppesen Terminal that was struck last year with Great Hall Partners.

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.

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

In January, Turner Construction and Flatiron Construction were announced as the companies that would be building two new hubs for the airport, with the capacity for three more, as well as 16 new gates and installing additional pavement. Concourse A will expand by 530,000 square feet, and Concourse B will see the addition of 91,000 square feet.

Construction Phases

The Great Hall Project partnership deal includes 30 years of private oversight of expanded terminal concessions.

  • Construction phase No. 1, on the airport expansion, is slated to run from this week to summer 2019. Many airlines have recently moved their ticket counters to the north and south sections on each side of the upper level, and against-the-wall counters will be removed and replaced with rectangular modules that will house check-in areas, including kiosks, on two sides. In this phase, workers will tear down walls and extend the “floor plate” of the upper level by about 30 feet into the atrium. Several amenities, including fast food joints and a post office installation, have closed in preparation for the work. Baggage offices on Level 5 are also set to be redone. Construction walls are going up this week. Later this month, Great Hall Partners expect to announce the operators of the first 10 new concession spaces, all anticipated to open by next May.
  • Phase No. 2, set to run from summer 2019 through early 2020, will see the relocation and reconfiguration of certain airline check-in areas. The upper level’s floor plates will also be extended into the atrium and more concession spaces will be built out as Phase 1 work continues.
  • Phase No. 3 will run through 2020, kicking off the final relocation of airlines in the old check-in areas to the new modules. North section floor plates will be extended into the atrium to line up with the other sections. New screening checkpoints for the federal Transportation Security Administration will also be built. (These are slated to open in October or November 2020.)
  • Phase No. 4 will see significant changes on the structure’s lower level, marking the final stage of work on the project. From here, escalators and elevators from new security checkpoints will be installed, with a focus on reconfiguring the lower level to get rid of the remnants of old screening areas. The south end is to house a welcome plaza, seating, a children’s play area and concessions. The north end will be walled off to allow for the construction of new post-screening, food, retail and convenience offerings.

“We have worked very hard with the airport, and with all stakeholders in the project, in order to be able to keep the considerations of passengers and the public in mind,” said Ignacio Castejon, a Ferrovial executive, now CEO of Great Hall Partners.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for July 12.


Tagged categories: Airports; Commercial Construction; Expansion; Maintenance + Renovation; North America; Renovation

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