The Running List Of Public Disagreements Between DIA And The Group Remodeling It Now Includes Timeline, Cost, Diversity And Safety

July 27, 2019
DIA Denver International Airport Passengers ConstructionDIA Denver International Airport Passengers ConstructionHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Passengers and visitors to Denver International Airport find themselves navigating a lot of detours as they check in or pick up baggage Friday June 28 2019.

Denver International Airport is accusing the group in charge of the airport's major remodel of breaching its contract.

In four letters sent on Wednesday and obtained by CBS 4 and FOX 31, DIA further alleges that the contractor made troubling statements about working without a permit and violating city law when a Great Hall Partners representative said “How much is it not legal to build without a permit?”

DIA alleges that Great Hall Partners engaged in “unsafe and unprofessional construction practices that put its workers and airport passengers at risk” and “purposefully and knowingly” interfered with airport activities.

“We are disappointed by — and completely disagree with — the mischaracterizations and false allegations made in these letters,” a statement from Great Hall Partners said. “We have complied with all aspects of the Development Agreement, and are fully committed to continuing to ensure best practices in both safety and diversity. We are addressing these allegations directly with DEN and will continue to meet our obligations under the Agreement in order to deliver the project, which we believe is in the best interest of all parties.”

The contractor has also been accused of not removing temporary walls surrounding two baggage claim areas, according to the letters, being "woefully behind" on hiring women- and minority-owned businesses, as well, and starting a fire during construction in June during "hot demolition work." DIA alleges the fire damaged escalators, which haven't been repaired for several weeks.

It's the latest chapter in increasingly public sparring over a project that was already said to be over cost and behind schedule.

The Great Hall remodeling project started in 2018 and was supposed to finish by 2021. It was expected to cost $650 million. In May, the contractor said construction would be delayed by four years and cost an additional $310 million.

Great Hall Partners has 30 days to submit a remediation plan, according to the letters. 

In a statement, DIA said it will continue to work through the issues but will not compromise on safety and quality.

“We have a responsibility to protect our passengers and employees and when any of our contractors take actions that we believe are unsafe, we address them immediately,” the statement said.