DIA’s new digs were supposed to cost $500 million. They cost almost $720 million.

The new light rail station and 519-room Westin hotel were known to be over budget back in 2014. It’s worse now.

staff photo
Denver International Airport and the new Westin hotel. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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Denver International Airport and the new Westin hotel. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The new light rail station and 519-room Westin hotel were known to be over budget back in 2014. Back then, the original budget of $500 million was expected to be as much as $100 million over budget.

Then-auditor Dennis Gallagher said he was “very disturbed” by the news, Colorado Public Radio reported. I suppose he’d be very very disturbed to hear that it’s more like almost $220 million over budget.

The independent audit does not allege any mismanagement. Or as independent contractors BKD LLP put it:

“We make no representation regarding the sufficiency of the procedures described in the attachment to this report for the purpose for which this report has been requested or for any other purpose.”

However, in several instances, payments applications were missing approval signatures of the project manager. In another, the payment amount was adjusted without additional documentation as to why.

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