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Denver International Airport proposes altered Phase 2 of Great Hall expansion

Posted at 5:54 PM, Nov 23, 2020

DENVER-- Denver International Airport hosted reporters Monday for an inside look at Phase 1 of its Great Hall renovations, but the bigger part of the changes will be Phase 2.

Earlier this year, DIA said to make sure they met budget, which had issues due to the previous contractor, the airport was going to change course from initial plans.

“We threw out all the options that were above the budget. We did not consider them,” DIA CEO Kim Day said.

Instead of moving all security up top, airport officials are now proposing moving the south security up top on the north side of security, which adds five new lanes. Officials said the airport will be fortifying the existing north security.

“Looking at, long term, what makes sense for the airport, it's continued growth and where we're headed, we all landed on this interim step,” DIA Chief of Staff Cristal DeHerrera said.

This contract amendment goes before the Denver City Council's Business Committee on Wednesday for consideration. But typical Thanksgiving weeks at the airport are usually packed, so there's a lot of focus on people traveling for the holidays amid the pandemic.

“If you haven’t flown recently, you might be under the impression that the airport is empty and that is certainly not the case,” DIA spokesperson Emily Williams said.

Travelers see the difference this year in precautions and sheer numbers.

“There's not many people. It's great,” traveler Rita Malboeuf said.

“We’re looking like it’s gonna be closer to 50%[down] from last year, which has been similar to the traffic we’ve been seeing recently in the airport,” Williams said.

The airport also has the Verifly and Eats Delivered apps to help you travel and socially distance inside.

There will still people out helping direct people around helping navigate the Great Hall construction during Monday's visit. Airport officials hope their new direction will be under construction this time next year.

“It hasn't been easy, but we are on track to meet that,” DIA VP of Operations Michael Sheehan said.