Hickenlooper tours DIA construction, touts Biden infrastructure proposal

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — President Biden is still trying to garner support for his nearly $3 trillion infrastructure plan. One Colorado senator was back home Wednesday touring a current site, in hopes of seeing more like them in the future.

The AIP or American Infrastructure Plan, formally titled the American Jobs Plan, is slated to bring airports about $25 billion.

“The key is, you can’t do all this which is already under construction and already being paid for, without the AIP support,” said Sen. John Hickenlooper. “The amount for DIA would probably be in the $100- to $500 million range. A relatively small amount.”

Relatively small for an airport with a multibillion-dollar renovation already underway.

“The original construction before we decided we have to move the airlines was over $1.5 billion,” said Stu Williams, senior VP of airport expansion at DIA. “Then we’ve added another half a billion that we’ll be doing renovations to the existing concourses as well as moving the airlines that we’ll need to move because of the expansion.”

Hickenlooper got a peek at the expansion of the west side of the A wing of the airport, expected to give travelers a new experience as they await their flights.

“We’ll have outdoor decks where people can go out and enjoy either mountain view’s, airfield views or views of the planes. A lot of cool things out there. We’ll have a parent relief area, fire pits, places to sit and relax, additional concession opportunities will be on the new concourses,” Williams said.

It is the senator’s hope that additional dollars from the federal government can propel DIA projects even further.

“United is planning to expand to 700 flights here. When they get it 700 flights all of a sudden, we become the international destination. Suddenly, we’ll get direct flights everywhere. I mean all over the world. It’s like flipping a switch on and that will just create all the more jobs,” Hickenlooper said. “These kinds of investments have an immediate payoff but the long-term payoff is really exciting.”

Hickenlooper says he prefers to get this measure passed with bipartisan support, but his party is prepared to go at it alone if they can’t get it done together.

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