The $1.8 billion overhaul of Denver International Airport’s Great Hall area in the main terminal isn’t the only major undertaking there.
DIA’s behind-the-scenes baggage handling system also is undergoing two major upgrades.
One project involves building out about 8 feet of unused interior space in the terminal between Level 5’s baggage claim area and Level 6’s ticketing and baggage drop-off area. Airport officials call it the "Level 5.5 Project" or the "Cross-over Project," said Stu Williams, who’s in charge of special projects at DIA.
He previously oversaw construction of DIA’s new hotel and transit center.
The project, expected to cost about $95 million, involves connecting DIA’s three baggage screening areas from one end of the terminal to the other end — so bags can flow to areas that have excess capacity, Williams said.
Initial work started about three weeks ago, he said.
Currently most of the baggage dropped off at DIA’s ticketing level disappears on a conveyor belt and drops straight down into screening areas, on Level 3, directly underneath the ticketing counters. The Level 5.5 Project will build conveyors that allow bags to move from one section to another section as needed, Williams said.
“If you drop your bags in Mod 2, it can be screened in Mod 1 or Mod 3. It gives us an incredible amount of flexibility, and the Transportation Security Administration and the airlines will be able to use all the equipment for screening,” he said.