SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4)- The Salt Lake City Department of Airports marked a major milestone in the construction of Phase 2 of the new airport expansion when one of the last steel beams will be raised to a high point on top of Concourse A-east.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall was at the construction site to share some history as well as the symbolism surrounding the ceremony.

“This practice of topping out dates back to some Scandinavian religious rites,” Mendenhall says. “[They] used to place a tree at the top of the new building to try to appease the tree-dwelling spirits that were displaced during construction.”

Phase 2 of airport construction includes the build-out of Concourse A to the east with 22 gates and construction of the Central Tunnel to connect the A and B Concourses. The new portion will have 22 gates and is expected to be completed by 2023. 

Another addition is a Central Tunnel, which will include a specially commissioned art installation called “The River Tunnel” by Northern California artist Gordon Huether. 

The second phase will also include the main entry point from the tunnel to Concourse B, which will be a mini-plaza complete with other large-scale art installations, including the placement of the iconic World Map.

The acreage for the new facility will be about 297 acres total.

The first phases of the airport expansion opened on September 15, 2020, and October 27, 2020.