DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Auditor Tim O’Brien plans to launch an audit into Denver International Airport’s troubled Great Hall construction project, although the audit start date is being delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We will be doing the audit,” said Tayler Overschmidt, a spokesperson for the auditor’s office, during a Wednesday morning interview with CBS4. “There’s a lot of money in that project and it’s a big project and the delays and changes add to the risk factor.”

Denver International Airport's Great Hall construction project delays

(credit: CBS)

Overschmidt said construction audits like this typically take four to six months to complete.

Ongoing CBS4 investigations first revealed delays, cost overruns and friction between airport officials and the original contractor, Ferrovial Airports, who was ultimately fired.

The $650 million terminal renovation ran into early concerns over the strength of the concrete in the terminal. That was followed by spats between the developer and airport administrators over anticipated delays, change orders and increasing costs.

Mayor Michael Hancock fired the developer last August but due to the nature of the termination, the contractor received about $183 million to settle disputes with the airport, according to a Denver Post analysis of the breakup costs.

The redevelopment started in 2018 and was supposed to be completed by 2021. But the developer projected a $311 million costs overrun and at least three years of delays.

After the original developer was fired, work resumed on the project earlier this year with DIA administrators managing the project, but it is still expected to be about three years behind schedule.

Overschmidt said while she did not know precisely when the audit would begin, she  told CBS4 the Great Hall audit will be part of a planned construction audit for the year.

Brian Maass