SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Construction at the Salt Lake City International Airport continues as the first phase of the project begins to see the foundation of the brand new facility take shape.
Construction at the airport may look like an eye sore to those flying in and out of the Salt Lake City International Airport right now as crews begin to drive piles into the ground where the new terminal, South Concourse-West, Gateway Center, Central Utility Plant, and Parking Garage will go.
“We’ve got 136 acres and I think we’re building on 134 of it. You can see the concrete wall going up, we got half the mat concrete slab wrapping up, the other one coming next week and starting to build that tunnel up out of the ground.”
Already crews have placed underground stone columns to help with the stabilization of the structure in the event of an earthquake and to help mitigate the effects of its proximity to the Great Salt Lake.
“We have a lot of soil conditions that we have to deal with here so a lot of ground water,” said Mike Williams, Project Director.
When it’s all said and done the new airport will be able to handle the 23 million passengers that the current facility takes in, far exceeding its capacity as the current facility was only designed to handle 10 million passengers.
$250-million of the $3-billion have gone into the project, however, the budget for the north concourse has not been finalized. The current concept design has the budget for that at and estimated $737-million. Officials say it is expected to exceed that amount once there is a design for the concourse.
“The additional funds that were just added, some of that was scope related, some additional thins that the airlines and users wanted in the building,” added Williams.
The funding for the new airport comes from user fees, airline and rental car charges, bonds, and help from the federal government the Transportation Security Administration, and the Federal Aviation Administration.
“There’s no taxpayer dollars on an airport project,” said Williams.
The first phase of the project is set to wrap up in 2020. After the first phase is finished the remainder of the existing terminals and buildings will be demolished so that phase two can begin. The second phase is set to be complete by 2025.
Once finished the new concourses will be able to accommodate larger planes and all gates will have boarding bridges. The finger-concourse system will be replaced by linear concourses that will make the airport more efficient and allow for quicker take-off.
The project will create over 24,000 jobs and bring in more than $1-billion in wages during the course of construction.