DIA’s run­way re­view lapse cost the air­port af­ter ex­ten­sive pave­ment crack­ing.

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Jon Mur­ray The Den­ver Post Jon Mur­ray: 303-954-1405, jmur­ray@den­ver­ or @JonMur­ray

DIA’s fail­ure to re­view tech­ni­cal stan­dards for air­field projects con­trib­uted to ex­ten­sive crack­ing of new pave­ment on a run­way and cost DIA $2.9 mil­lion.

Den­ver In­ter­na­tional Air­port’s fail­ure to re­view tech­ni­cal stan­dards for air­field projects con­trib­uted to ex­ten­sive crack­ing of new pave­ment on a run­way and cost DIA $2.9 mil­lion, city au­di­tors re­ported Thurs­day.

DIA was on the hook for that amount on the ma­jor 2015 run­way pave­ment re­place­ment project be­cause the con­trac­tor had fol­lowed the air­port’s tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions for pave­ment mix­ing, the au­dit found. The air­port ac­cepted par­tial re­spon­si­bil­ity and paid the set­tle­ment to Flat­iron Con­struc­tors for work to re­place 49 of 150 dam­aged con­crete pan­els on the run­way, on top of its $35.4 mil­lion con­tract. The rest of the pan­els were sealed.

The ex­tra pay­ment was re­vealed by an au­dit that looked at two large air­field con­struc­tion projects man­aged by DIA’s Air­port In­fra­struc­ture Man­age­ment Di­vi­sion, which over­sees main­te­nance of run­ways, apron pave­ment and taxi­ways.

“Specif­i­cally, we found that the AIM Di­vi­sion lacks a suf­fi­cient process by which to en­sure that the tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions pro­vided to the con­trac­tor have been re­viewed and ap­proved,” the au­dit says.

For the run­way project, the au­dit says DIA re­lied on an old mod­i­fi­ca­tion to its pave­ment stan­dards, which are based on Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion spec­i­fi­ca­tions. But that mod­i­fied stan­dard for the con­crete mix was un­nec­es­sary, the re­port says. The mod­i­fi­ca­tion re­sulted in the pro­duc­tion of ex­ces­sive heat as the pave­ment so­lid­i­fied, dam­ag­ing 150 of 700 poured pan­els.

“Af­ter the panel crack­ing in­ci­dent, (the air­port) took mea­sures to im­prove its con­trols sur­round­ing its project tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions,” the au­dit says, in­clud­ing an out­side re­view of its stan­dards by an en­gi­neer­ing con­sul­tant.

In his re­sponse to the au­dit, Mark A. Baker, DIA’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent of air­port in­fra­struc­ture man­age­ment, agreed to a rec­om­men­da­tion for an­other safe­guard. The project of­fice will create a process to re­view tech­ni­cal specs for each project for ac­cu­racy and com­plete­ness be­fore so­lic­it­ing bids.

DIA agreed to im­ple­ment sev­eral other au­dit rec­om­men­da­tions by the end of Septem­ber, in­clud­ing changes to en­sure that bid doc­u­ments are main­tained prop­erly and that bid ad­ver­tise­ments no longer in­clude in­cor­rect or con­flict­ing in­for­ma­tion about sub­mis­sion dead­lines and other as­pects.

Au­di­tors found those is­sues on at least one bid, sug­gest­ing they “could re­sult in ques­tions about the in­tegrity of the bid process.”

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