DIA upbraids contractor for safety violations, minority hiring failures

Denver International Airport this week fired off numerous letters — two of them breach-of-contract notices — to the partnership heading up the $650 million overhauls of the busy airport’s predominant terminal developing, accusing the contractor of partaking in “unsafe and unprofessional construction practices that put its workers and airport passengers at risk.”

Namely, it cited escalators between the airport put together a platform and the terminal’s predominant floor which have been out of operation for roughly seven weeks and two baggage carousels that keep sequestered behind short-term constructing partitions that DIA officers say must have been taken down weeks previously.

DIA accused Great Hall Partners of “purposefully and knowingly interfering with Airport Activities,” which is talked about is a violation of the contract the contractor signed with the city of Denver in August 2017 when it was chosen for the mission.

Airport officers moreover accused Great Hall Partners this week of being “woefully behind” on its dedication to hiring minority- and women-owned firms to take part throughout the renovation of the 1.5 million-square-foot terminal.

The letters have been obtained by The Denver Post by way of an open data request.

“We are disappointed by — and completely disagree with — the mischaracterizations and false allegations made in these letters,” a Great Hall Partners responded in a press launch Friday night time. “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.”

It’s the newest battle between the airport and the partnership. Great Hall Partners has claimed the fallout from the weak concrete current within the precept terminal floor and alter orders from DIA officers might run up costs by nearly 50% and delay the mission by larger than three years. The sides have entered into mediation lessons this summertime wanting to resolve just a few of their factors.

“The biggest thing is we have identified some ongoing safety concerns that need to be addressed,” DIA spokeswoman Stacey Stegman talked about Friday. “And we want to make they get addressed immediately so they don’t continue to linger. This is a record-setting summer for us.”

Last yr, DIA handled a file 64 million passengers. In June, the airport twice surpassed the file for passengers in a single day, with 216,000 passengers using the power on June 16.

Regarding minority hiring, DIA officers talked about of the $50.6 million the contractor has paid at expert suppliers costs so far, solely $4 million has gone to minority- and women-owned firms, the letter states. At 8 p.c, that falls successfully wanting the 33 p.c Great Hall Partners set as a function when it bid for the mission, airport officers say.

Similarly, Great Hall Partners has so far paid solely $3 million out of the $105 million it devoted to paying minority- and women-owned firms for constructing work contained within the terminal, the letter alleges.

“The failures set forth above display Developer’s indifference to the commitments it made to the City, the Owner, and to Denver’s minority and women business community,” the letter says.

Perhaps additional essential throughout the quick-time interval are letters DIA despatched to Great Hall Partners outlining points with the still-broken escalators and the short-term constructing partitions that are nonetheless standing no matter groundwork that was imagined to have been completed weeks previously.

Failure to restore these factors shortly “may result in termination of this agreement,” DIA warned Great Hall Partners.

Specifically, DIA talked about Great Hall Partners caused a fire remaining month that disabled two escalators within the precept terminal.

“Instead of immediately addressing the issue, Developer waited 28 days to begin the clean-up,” DIA’s letter states. The escalators keep closed seven weeks after the fireplace.

And the airport talked about Great Hall Partners has left in place short-term partitions nearly two months after contractors have been imagined to have accomplished placing in terrazzo flooring — blocking entry to 2 baggage carousels.

“Every day that the (walls) remain standing, this disruption to Airport Activities continues to unnecessarily prolong the strain on Airport operations and the traveling public,” the letter states.

The fourth letter talked about senior-level marketing consultant with Great Hall Partners requested all through a safety meeting this week: “How much is it not legal to build without a permit?”

“This question showed an incredible lack of professionalism and a lack of basic understanding of what is required to design, permit, and construct a project within the City and County of Denver,” the letter states.

Reporter Jon Murray contributed to this report.

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