Airport construction milestone celebrated with ‘topping out’ ceremony

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – The final steel beam of construction for a brand new terminal at the Salt Lake Airport was put into place Wednesday morning, marking a major milestone for the $3.6 billion airport redevelopment project. 

The “topping out” ceremony was led by Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. She explained the tradition of topping out dates back to a Scandinavian ritual, signifying the completion of a building project. A tree was placed on top of the final beam, something Scandinavians traditionally did to “appease the tree-dwelling spirits displaced during construction,” according to city officials. 

The 1,300 construction workers who have labored on the project for the last 3.5 years looked on as the beam was put into place – but not before they each signed their name to it. 

“We are building this airport from the ground up. It will be entirely brand new,” said Biskupski. 

The first phase of the project called The New SLC, which includes the new terminal, will be completed in 2020. The terminal will feature a huge art installation project called “The Canyon,” which evokes Utah’s unique landscape. 

It will also feature 18 escalators and 25 elevators. 

Mayor Biskupski said the project is being paid for using existing funds, and not taxpayer money. She also said the redevelopment will help make Salt Lake Airport a destination hub for domestic and international travelers.

City officials said the project would create 24,000 jobs during the course of construction. 

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