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Denver International Airport Achieves Multiple “Topping Out” Milestones for Gate Expansion Program


DENVER – July 22, 2020 – Denver International Airport (DEN) marked two important milestones on the Gate Expansion Program this month as the final beam of the exterior structure was put into place on both Concourse C-East and Concourse B-East. This “topping out” signifies the completion of the steel structure of the exterior buildings on both concourses.

Video of the final beam being placed on the new structure on Concourse C-East is available here. Photos of construction are available on request.

“This is an exciting milestone as DEN continues to expand and improve our aging facilities and infrastructure,” said DEN CEO Kim Day. “This is our largest capital improvement program and I’m proud to say we are on schedule and within budget. The program we are undertaking is advancing the state’s most important economic asset while also providing valuable construction jobs during this uncertain economic time. I’m grateful to the team and all the essential employees working every day on this program and at the airport.”

As part of the Gate Expansion Program, 16 new gates are being constructed on Concourse C-East, and 10 new gates are being built on Concourse B-East. Earlier this year, United Airlines signed a use and lease agreement for the new B gates, including those on B-East. In February 2020, Southwest Airlines signed a use and lease agreement for all 16 gates being built on Concourse C.

In all, DEN is building 39 new gates, increasing overall gate capacity at the airport by 30%. The new gates will be added on all three concourses to allow DEN’s airlines an opportunity to grow and for DEN to accommodate new airlines, including international carriers. Work on the new gates began in the summer of 2018, construction will be complete in 2021 and the gates will be operational in 2022.

When the new gates are complete, all three concourses will feature improved amenities including an opportunity for passengers to step outside for a breath of fresh air at one of DEN’s new post-security outdoor decks. The new outdoor spaces will provide views of the mountains or prairies and will feature a pet relief area, outdoor seating and fire pits for ambiance.

Other amenities coming to the new gate areas include a variety of more comfortable seating options, all with power outlets for charging, upgraded restrooms, nursing rooms and more shopping and dining options.

In addition to the 39 new gates, DEN will update aging facilities across the concourses for an enhanced passenger experience including, holdrooms, commuter facilities, restrooms, carpeting, furniture, ceilings, updated wayfinding and replacing walkways and escalators. The concourse renewal work is part of Phase II of the program, which will make needed renovations to improve the passenger experience.

Phase II of the project added $560 million to the existing Gate Expansion Program contracts, and was approved by Denver City Council in May 2020. By utilizing construction teams who are already mobilized at DEN, the airport can efficiently make improvements to enhance the passenger experience while also providing jobs and construction opportunities in Denver. The concourse renewal work will be complete by in 2024, dependent upon traffic levels and airline operations.

Both phases of the program are being constructed by two joint-ventures: Turner Construction and Flatiron Construction on Concourse A-West and Concourse B-West. Holder Construction and FCI Constructors Inc. manage Concourse B-East and Concourse C-East. HNTB Corp. and Jacobs Engineering Group are also contracted for architectural and design services for the program. WSP serves as DEN’s Program Management Team (PMT).

Learn more about the program here.

East Side Projects Topping Out Facts

Here are some Concourse B and C-East facts at a glance:

  • C-East will top out at approximately 88 feet – that’s nearly as tall as three of DEN’s “Mustang” statutes stacked one on top of the other. B-East will top out at 52 feet which is nearly as tall as three of DEN’s “Jeppesen” statues stacked one on top of the other.
  • Crews have poured 25,500 cubic-yards of concrete on C-East, and counting, which is enough to fill an Olympic size pool 8 times.
  • The new C-East Concourse, combined with the existing structure, will be approximately 1,155 feet long, or the equivalent length of about five and a half Boeing 747 aircraft carriers. B-East Concourse combined with the existing structure will be approximately 659 feet long which nearly as long as three Airbus A380 aircrafts – the largest plane to land at DEN!
  • The new and existing structure on Concourse C-East will be approximately 539,028 sq. ft., which is equal to approximately 10 football fields combined. The new and existing structure on B-East Concourse will be approximately 811,500 sq. ft. which is equal to about 7.5 city blocks in Downtown Denver.

Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. For more information visit, check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for DEN’s monthly newsletter Nonstop News.


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Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. Follow us on socials!