SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) — The Salt Lake Temple Square project has reached a major milestone — the installation of earthquake protection.
In May 2023, the first base isolator was placed on the new footing on the west side of the temple. Base isolators are mechanical devices that isolate the movement of the earth from the building above during a seismic event.
According to a press release published Thursday, there is a plan for 98 isolators. Each base isolator weighs approximately 18,000 pounds but can carry 8 million pounds.
“Installing isolators will allow the temple to move horizontally up to five feet in any direction during an earthquake,” the press release stated.
Along with the new base isolator installed, a newly completed portion of the plaza south of the Church Office building will be opened soon. On June 1, it will be open during regular Temple Square hours. It is accessible from the west side of State Street, as well as from a walkway between the Church Administration Building and the Lion House.
Construction will continue on the plaza area between the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the Church Administration Building, and on the Main Street Plaza and the west half of the plaza near the Church Office Building. This area is expected to be completed at the end of 2023.
When the plaza fully reopens, it will display 91 international flags to “represent the global growth of the Church.” According to the press release, it will also include a monument stone inscribed with the following scripture from the Bible, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” (Isaiah 2:2)