Denver International Airport’s marquee terminal renovation is headed for a severe budget crunch that threatens to leave core components of the project — including new upper-level security screening areas — unfinished or significantly curtailed, according to emails obtained exclusively by The Denver Post.
Construction resumed on the first phase of the Great Hall project in March under a new team of contractors following DIA’s decision last year to boot its original project partners on the troubled project. But just $170 million of the project’s $770 million budget remains for later phases, including the security checkpoints’ relocation and the reconfiguration of some airlines’ check-in areas.
That figure was cited in an email sent this summer by Jason Chu, a United Airlines representative who wrote on behalf of DIA’s major airlines, responding to airport cost-cutting ideas. When The Post requested Chu’s email and others under the Colorado Open Records Act, DIA blacked out the amount of project money remaining and most project-related details. The Post later obtained an unredacted version of Chu’s email through sources with access to it.
Pressed this week, airport officials confirmed that the $170 million projection is current and said they are still in the process of deciding what to cut.
The money that’s left is just a quarter of the $720 million that DIA and its new contractors estimate it would take to complete the remaining phases under the project’s wildly over-budget original design.