Denver international airport: Report on a construction project that had major cost overruns.

Essay by jeffbcukleyCollege, UndergraduateC+, January 2006

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This report looks at the construction of Denver international airport. It looks at the airport came to be through the vision of Mayor Pena. It also looks at the construction of the airport and the subsequent delays and cost escalation that the airport suffered. This should lead us to the conclusion of whether or not this airport can be considered a success.

The early stages

When the 53 sq miles of land in Adams County had been purchased for $40,000 an acre the ball was in motion for the construction of a new airport. The design was put out to any willing architects, that this new airport was to be somewhat of an iconic building as well as being the largest airport in the United States.

Location of the airport

The winning design was from an architect company called Fentress Bradburn. There design was that the airport would look like the Rocky Mountains with its tensile membrane roof made to look like the snowy capped Rocky Mountains.

Picture of the completed airport

The architects also priced the building of the project and put the price at $1.339 billion dollars. So Federico Pena set out on his way to getting the airport built. His first victory came when fifty chambers of commerce in the Denver metro area backed the proposal for a new mega-airport. So did suburban Mayors and County officials, construction workers and the AFL-CIO. Colorado's full delegation, including liberals and fiscal conservatives, greased the wheels in Congress. (

His next obstacle to hurdle would be the public vote as two referendums were scheduled first, in 1988 and then the second in 1989. To get his yes vote Federico Pena staged many high-powered breakfasts and even showed of a $24000 model of the airport at a public meeting.