SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – With the first phase of the new Salt Lake City airport now open, crews started dismantling and demolishing the former airport in preparation to build out the second phase Tuesday.
ABC4 News was at the airport to see the old airport being demolished.
There were two initial openings, the first one on September 15th and the second one on October 27th. According to Mike Williams, Program Director for the Airport redevelopment program, the opening provided the new airport so that the demolition of the old one could begin.
The old airport was fenced off before the demolition began. Williams says about half of the old parking garage was demolished Tuesday.
Multiple terminals in the old airport, including the international terminals, were demolished, according to Williams.
By the end of the first quarter of next year, Williams says terminal one and terminal two will be demolished. By the middle of next year, airport officials anticipate that the rest of the old airport would be demolished.
William added that because the pandemic slowed down air travel, they can re-phase the project and potentially finish the new airport in a more timely manner.
Williams added, “instead demolishing the existing airport in phases, and continuing to use part of the existing airport for gates. The decision was made to tighten up and squeeze everybody into the new facility, to open up an area where planes could be parked, and passengers were bussed to them. That gave us enough capacity to capture the entire airport at one time.”
According to Williams, the demolition will be done only once instead of phased like it was originally planned. This saves them about two years in the overall timeline. In a way, Williams said the pandemic had helped the construction even though it has hurt in a lot of areas.
The change in plans can also save the airport a lot of money. Williams said they could save up to 300 million dollars depending on when the next phases of the deferred program are put into place. A lot of the old airport material is being recycled and used in the new one, which also helps them save money.
There are plans to continue building even if travel picks up again before the project is finished.
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