Denver International Airport is twice the size of Manhattan and is the second largest public works project in the world, second only to the Chunnel linking England and France. By land area, it is the largest US airport and third largest in the world. One hundred and ten million cubic yards ( yd.³) of earth were moved during the building of the project; this is equivalent to one third the amount of earth moved in building the Panama Canal.
The airport has 17 mechanical rooms, over 1 million pounds of ducts and 40 miles of piping. The airport also has the largest jet fuel distribution network in the world. Runways are spaced 4,200 feet from each other. The airport has electric powered subway lines that move up to 6,000 people an hour. The airport moves about 75 million passengers a year.
The project cost $5.2 billion, which was $2 billion over budget and opened a year and a half behind schedule. Construction of this huge facility with 138 gates and a 327 foot tall control tower required 11,000 workers at its height. The main innovation DIA brought to Denver, unlike then existing Stapleton Airport, was a design to handle Denver’s unusual wind and weather patterns. The airport was laid out in a pinwheel configuration and is located well outside the city in anticipation of future expansion in the 21st century.
The airport is known for its unusual look having its signature 15 acres of Teflon-coded woven fiberglass which is a combination of materials that make it impossible to see inside with radar.
Not Without Controversy & Conspiracy Theories
To this day residents of Denver question the project. As noted above, the airport was built on 53 mi.² of land, even though there was an existing airport. The new airport had fewer runways than the existing airport it was replacing. Some outlandish conspiracy theories swarm around the project.
In a Youtube video Jesse Ventura , former Governor of Minnesota, interviews construction contractors who claim that the Denver airport may have a huge underground bunker, possibly with up to 300,000 ft.² of space or more, to house government and military personnel. The contractors claim the US has been building bunkers all over the US over the past two decades and that huge public works projects are a perfect cover for covert government activity.