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DIA Hits Significant Construction Cost Overruns

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DENVER (CBS4) – Denver International Airport is inching closer to the finish line of its huge construction project, but not without significant cost overruns.

There are many projects happening at the same time at DIA.

Projects include new bridges to the terminal, a new hotel and a transit center.

As they advance to completion airport staff are saying it’s going to cost a little bit more.

At the state of DIA’s luncheon on Tuesday Denver Mayor Michael Hancock talked directly about the airport’s latest hiccup.

“No one likes to see costs increase,” he said.

It’s an increase of 5 to 10 percent for the airport’s $544 million budget for the hotel and transit center.

This is a budget that was already raised last year by $4 million.

The same 5 to 10 percent higher price tag is expected for the $75 million train extension budget.

“It’s not what we wanted to hear,” said DIA Manager of Aviation Kim Day.

Day says the rising cost comes from a new risk assessment. It links the high price tag to a rise in labor and material costs and accelerated schedule.

“This is not a financial concern for us,” said Day.

The airport says it won’t have to ask the city for more money.

Day says they have 600 days’ worth of operating costs in the bank and have planned for these unforeseen costs.

“It’s all paid for by the airport. There’s no taxpayer money,” she said.

While the airport’s projects continue they want the public to know that it’s their job to keep DIA competing on a global scale and give it the reputation of America’s favorite connecting hub.

“When we open I think everyone will so much benefit from that rail connection and I think they all will appreciate the amenities we built in,” said Day.

The hotel at DIA is expected to open next year and the light rail connection to Union Station in 2016.

Airport staff hopes all these advancements will raise DIA’s ranking in the global market where right now it sits at 15th, the lowest it has ever been.

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