Project man­ager could get $45M

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Jon Mur­ray

Den­ver In­ter­na­tional Air­port’s plan to add 26 gates to its con­courses in the next few years will be car­ried out by a project man­age­ment con­trac­tor that could be paid up to $45 mil­lion.

That’s the max­i­mum set by a con­tract ap­proved by the City Coun­cil on Mon­day night — and it likely will end up as a small por­tion of the even­tual cost for a project that in­creases DIA’s num­ber of main gates by nearly a quar­ter. An air­port spokesman said the to­tal still was be­ing fi­nal­ized as of­fi­cials pre­pare more con­tracts.

Air­port of­fi­cials are aim­ing to keep up with rapid pas­sen­ger growth — last year’s 58.3 mil­lion to­tal was up nearly 8 percent over 2015 — and new routes planned by DIA’s carriers. The most re­cent an­nounce­ments in­clude United’s new di­rect flight to London, Nor­we­gian Air’s new non­stop ser­vice to Paris and Fron­tier’s ad­di­tion of 21 des­ti­na­tions from Den­ver.

DIA’s plans call for four new gates on the west end of Con­course B by 2019 and, the fol­low­ing year, 12 new gates on the west end of Con­course A and 10 gates on the east end of Con­course C.

To pro­vide more flex­i­bil­ity dur­ing con­struc­tion, a project un­der­way now is ad­ding a half-dozen tem­po­rary ground-load­ing gates on Con­course A. Those will add to DIA’s 107 reg­u­lar gates and 42 “apron load” po­si­tions in which pas­sen­gers board smaller planes from the tar­mac.

The gate ex­pan­sions mir­ror a

ma­jor ob­jec­tive of DIA’s pro­posed $1.8 bil­lion, 34year pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship con­tract to ren­o­vate the Jeppe­sen Ter­mi­nal.

That sep­a­rate project in­cludes about $650 mil­lion in ren­o­va­tion work to move se­cu­rity to the up­per level, consolidate tick­et­ing and add shops and food op­tions as part of a plan to ex­pand the ter­mi­nal’s ca­pac­ity to 80 mil­lion pas­sen­gers a year.

The ter­mi­nal project has drawn op­po­si­tion from the ma­jor air­lines, but smoother sail­ing is likely for the new gates. DIA spokesman Heath Mont­gomery said 22 of the gates were matched to air­line re­quests, and the air­port is plan­ning four more to ac­com­mo­date air­traf­fic growth.

Mon­day’s block vote by the coun­cil in­cluded a fiveyear, $45 mil­lion con­tract with WSP USA to supply project man­agers, en­gi­neers and a cou­ple dozen other ex­perts to as­sist DIA’s project of­fice and co­or­di­nate other con­trac­tors. The New York-based en­gi­neer­ing firm was formed three years ago when WSP ac­quired Par­sons Brinck­er­hoff.

Con­tracts with two ar­chi­tec­tural firms and gen­eral con­trac­tors for the first two phases likely will land in a month, Mont­gomery said.

Be­cause the air­port gen­er­ates its own in­come from var­i­ous fees and ten­ant rents, it doesn’t draw on tax­payer money for im­prove­ment projects.

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