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Papers of Ginger Evans

Identifier: UPGE

Scope and Contents

The Papers of Ginger Evans consists of documents dated 1963 to 1997, with the bulk falling from 1989 to 1997. Materials primarily document Evans' work with the City and County of Denver during the construction of Denver International Airport (DIA). Materials include correspondence and memos, meeting agendas and minutes, reports, newspaper clippings, photographs, maps and plans of the airport design, construction contracts, and personal memorabilia.

Items that have been digitized are available in CSU's digital repository, Mountain Scholar.


  • Creation: 1963-1997
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1989-1997


Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection. However the collection is stored off-site, so advance notice is required.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


Ginger Evans was the chief of new airport construction and associate director of aviation for the City and County of Denver during construction of Denver International Airport (DIA). During her more than seven years on the project, she oversaw the project's administration, an over $4.8 billion dollar endeavor, which at the time was the largest public works project in the country.

Ginger Sunday Evans was born on December 19, 1954. Raised in Stapleton, Colorado, she graduated from Stapleton High School in 1973. She enrolled in the engineering program at Colorado State University (CSU), earning her B.S. in civil engineering in 1977, and her M.S. in 1979. Ginger married Peter Evans on July 26, 1981 and they have three daughters, Lee, Anna, and Julie.

After graduating from CSU, Evans became the stockholder and water resources division manager for J.F. Sato and Associates, from September 1979 until early 1986. In January 1986, she became the project manager for Stapleton Engineering, managing the design and construction improvements at Stapleton International Airport. When the City and County of Denver decided to build a new international airport, Evans was appointed as chief of new airport construction in January 1987. She became associate director of aviation in September 1991 and acting director of aviation in September 1992. Evans, as acting director of aviation and chief of new airport construction, was responsible for the overall construction management of the new airport.

The new Denver International Airport, known as DIA, was built in neighboring Adams County, approximately 25 miles east of downtown Denver. The airport is 34,000 acres and is the largest airport in the United States. Multiple delays, attributed to changing airline requirements, worker strikes, and the malfunction of the automated baggage system, pushed the scheduled opening from October 29, 1993 to February 28, 1995, sixteen months behind schedule, with a final cost of $4.8 billion, nearly $2 billion over the original budget. During construction, over 11,000 workers were employed on the project with over $1 billion being spent during the height of construction in 1992.

Evans is credited with developing new procedures to ensure accurate and timely payments to contractors, and new construction change contracts that helped alleviate bureaucratic red tape. Noted for her innovation and determination in pushing through construction on DIA, Evans was named Engineering News-Record's (ENR) Woman of the Year and Award of Excellence winner in 1994. Evans was the first woman, and the youngest person, to win these prestigious engineering honors. ENR's Women of Year article notes that Evans was arguably the key player in the building of the airport, and that cost overruns and delays would have been significantly higher without her leading the project administration. Other honors include the Distinguished Service Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, and she was made a member of the Denver Public Works Hall of Fame.

Evans left her position with the City and County of Denver in October 1994, taking a position with CH2M Hill, a contractor at DIA. Citing exhaustion and the desire to spend more time with her family, the position with CH2M Hill ensured Evans was able to stay involved with the project through its completion.

After spending three years with CH2M Hill, Evans went on to be the principal aviation manager for Carter Burgess, aviation division manager and senior vice president for Parsons Corporation, vice president for engineering of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and is currently commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA).


27 linear feet (18 record cartons, 1 flat box, 4 flat folders, 48 rolls, 3 framed items)

Language of Materials



Ginger S. Evans is an alumna of Colorado State University (CSU) and was the chief of new airport construction and associate director of aviation for the City and County of Denver during construction of Denver International Airport (DIA). Materials include office files, maps, plans, and schematics for the airport, and personal memorabilia.

Items that have been digitized are available in CSU's digital repository, Mountain Scholar.


The collection consists of 4 series in 18 record cartons, 1 flat box, 4 flat folders, 48 rolls, and 3 framed items:

Series 1: Office files, 1963, 1976-1997 and undated

Series 2: Personal memorabilia and awards, 1977, 1989-1996 and undated

Series 3: Publicity, photographs, and media, 1989, 1992-1997 and undated

Series 4: Maps, plans, and schematics, 1986-1993 and undated


The Papers of Ginger Evans was transferred from the Engineering Research Center at Colorado State University in July 2011.

Online Materials

Some materials have been scanned and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context.


Processing was completed in June 2015. Materials were rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. The papers were unorganized upon arrival and multiple files with the same title were spread across the boxes. Some materials had been damaged by water, and mold growth was apparent. These items have either been cleaned and returned to the collection, or digitized and a replaced with a surrogate.

Inventory Note

Note: Title information supplied by the archivist is bracketed.

Guide to the Papers of Ginger Evans
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Karen Spilman
Copyright 2015
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA