SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake City International Airport is just two years away from having a new central tunnel.
“It’s pretty fantastic because a year ago this was just a mud hole,” said Bill Wyatt, Executive Director of Salt Lake City International Airport.
The new tunnel will give travelers a straight shot from Concourse A to Concourse B with automated walkways and eventually trains.
And yes, the walk will be shorter than the current trek many people dread at the airport.
“Instead of having to turn left, go halfway down a concourse west, under the tunnel, back up and then turn right, you’ll just come straight ahead after the security checkpoint,” explained Wyatt.
The tunnel from one escalator to the other is 1,175 feet long, which is about a block and a half in downtown Salt Lake City.
But to make that walk more enjoyable, they’re also adding a massive art installation inside the tunnel.
“Try to picture for a second like you’re sleeping and you’re in a dream and you’re dreaming that you’re walking on the bottom of a river that has a gentle current going,” says tunnel artist Gordon Huether.
It’s dubbed the “River Tunnel” and it will make flyers feel like they’re walking underwater.
“Makes you forget a little bit about being in an airport and you’re going to think more about celebrating the natural beauty of Utah,” Huether said.
The entire airport project costs about $4.5 billion dollars, with the central tunnel costing $80 million, according to Wyatt. The entire project will be paid for by the airlines.
“There’s no local taxpayer commitment to this project,” confirmed Wyatt.
The airport and airlines hope to make Salt Lake City a top destination to fly in the U.S.
“Building this all at once has allowed us to integrate the art with the construction which I think really makes it a lovely experience,” said Wyatt.