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DIA wants to add 39 gates as air traffic swells

October 30, 2017 Updated: October 30, 2017 at 4:54 pm
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Denver International Airport. Gazette file photo.

Denver International Airport has outgrown its 107 gates, and its officials want to add 39 gates across its three concourses, the Denver Business Journal reports.

DIA set a passenger record last year when 58.3 million people traveled through its gates. Now airport officials have proposed a nearly $1.5 billion project to add the gates.

Four five-year contracts, to cover design and construction of the new gates, are slated to be reviewed Wednesday by Denver's Business, Arts, Workforce and Aeronautical Services Committee. If OK'd in committee, the contracts could be considered by the full City Council by mid-November. Airport officials hope to have the gates completed by 2021.

DIA officials say the airport must expand to meet climbing traffic. Airport leaders had previously noted plans to add from 26 to 56 gates, according to the Business Journal.

When the airport opened more than two decades ago, it was designed to accommodate 50 million passengers a year. But DIA passenger traffic has perpetually swelled, exceeding airport capacity last year.

Denver officials recently approved the $1.8 billion Great Hall Project to overhaul security checkpoints and concessions and boost the Jeppesen terminal's capacity to 80 million passengers a year. Through a 34-year, private-public partnership with Spanish transportation infrastructure behemoth Ferrovial, the project was controversial, in part, because of the City Council's loss of oversight of new concessions.

Wednesday, the Denver committee will consider a $700 million contract with joint venture Turner-Flatiron and a $655 million contract with joint venture Holder-FCI for pre-construction and construction management, plus two $65 million design and engineering contracts with HNTB Corp. and Jacobs Engineering Group, according to city documents.

DIA's concourses were designed to allow for growth and more gates. In 2014, five new gates were completed on DIA's C concourse in a $46 million expansion.

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