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Latest Temple Square renovations: A view from above with tower crane operators


Latest Temple Square renovations: A view from above with tower crane operators

Two tower cranes erected on the north and south sides of the Salt Lake Temple have been staples of the Temple Square renovation project over the past two years.

A new five-minute video on Newsroom shares the experiences — and the views — of the on-site crane operators as the project enters its third year.

The two cranes have filled multiple purposes and aids in the renovation project. One is to help in the removal of stones from the temple walls and towers. The stones will be cleaned, repaired and then replaced in their original locations.

Another purpose is to help lift materials into and around the multi-story temple.

A third crane has been on site in the past, with its greater lifting capacity used to hoist the new roof trusses into place.

“We’re pretty confident as tower operators, but we can’t let it go to our heads,” said Treini Smith of Jacobsen Construction, a vertical crane operator with more than 20 years of experience.

Operating a tower crane is not a run-of-the-mill job — and working on the temple renovation makes the current effort all the more special, he said. “It’s the experience of running the crane on a project of this magnitude and its historical value.”

Brad Bohne, a general superintendent with Jacobsen, said the cranes and their crews are the lifeblood of the Salt Lake Temple construction site. “We couldn’t do it without cranes,” he said.

Church Office Building plaza

Current work on the Church Office Building plaza includes waterproofing repaired concrete surfaces and installing large Styrofoam blocks under landscaped areas. The Styrofoam blocks help reduce the load on the existing concrete deck.

White Styrofoam blocks used to reduce the weight of the soil on the concrete deck of the Church Office Building plaza are visible from the east side of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, Utah, during January 2022.

White Styrofoam blocks used to reduce the weight of the soil on the concrete deck of the Church Office Building plaza are visible from the east side of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, Utah, during January 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The above aerial view is from the neighboring Joseph Smith Memorial Building, showing the white Styrofoam blocks being placed throughout the plaza project.

The plaza portion of the renovation project is expected to be done by the end of 2022 and will feature an array of international flags representative of the worldwide Church.

A hydroblaster, or “concrete lawnmower,” removes damaged concrete to a depth of 2 to 2.5 inches from the Church Office Building plaza on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

A hydroblaster, or “concrete lawnmower,” removes damaged concrete to a depth of 2 to 2.5 inches from the Church Office Building plaza on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Several photos show equipment and the processes used in removing damaged concrete to a depth of 2 to 2.5 inches at the plaza’s top deck. The photo above is a hydro blaster machine — known on-site as the “concrete lawnmower.” Using an oscillating, high-pressured stream of water through a tiny nozzle, the machine removes the damaged concrete.

A large rotating brush attached to the “broom” machine cleans debris from the surface of the Church Office Building plaza so that it can be repaired with new concrete, in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

A large rotating brush attached to the “broom” machine cleans debris from the surface of the Church Office Building plaza so that it can be repaired with new concrete, in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

It is followed by a broom machine, shown above, with its rotating brush cleaning debris from the surface so it can be prepared to be repaired with new concrete.

A crew member fills the surface of the Church Office Building plaza with soil and tamps it down to ensure an even surface for the pavement, in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

A crew member fills the surface of the Church Office Building plaza with soil and tamps it down to ensure an even surface for the pavement, in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Other surfaces on the plaza are being filled with soil and tamped down, as showed above, to create stable and even surfaces for future paved areas.

Salt Lake Temple renovations

Excavation on the north side of the Salt Lake Temple is nearing completion, while excavation continues on other sides to help with further stabilization efforts.

Renovation crews excavate in front of the east towers of the Salt Lake Temple in preparation for a concrete pad that will support equipment necessary in the jack and bore process, in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

Renovation crews excavate in front of the east towers of the Salt Lake Temple in preparation for a concrete pad that will support equipment necessary in the jack and bore process, in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In the above photo from in front of the temple’s east towers, excavation serves to prepare for a concrete pad, with the strong, stable surface to support the heavy equipment used in the jack-and-bore process of stabilizing the temple and its foundation.

Workers prepare for a large concrete pour to create the foundation for the temple’s new three-level north addition in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

Workers prepare for a large concrete pour to create the foundation for the temple’s new three-level north addition in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The above photo shows workers preparing the extensive steel reinforcements needed prior to the concrete pour.

Sensors track the temperature before and after a concrete pour at the Temple Square renovation project to make sure it strengthens and cures properly, in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

Sensors track the temperature before and after a concrete pour at the Temple Square renovation project to make sure it strengthens and cures properly, in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Sensors — the red gauges in the photo above — are placed on the steel reinforcements to monitor temperatures before and after the pour to ensure proper curing and strengthening of the concrete.

The area where the second large concrete pour was completed as part of the Temple Square renovation project, in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

The area where the second large concrete pour was completed as part of the Temple Square renovation project, in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The above photo provides a view of the area where the second large concrete pour was completed in mid-January on the north side of the Salt Lake Temple. The concrete creates the bottom foundation for the temple’s new three-level addition on the north side.

North Visitors’ Center demolition

Little remains of the North Visitors’ Center after its demolition during the Temple Square renovation project, in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

Little remains of the North Visitors’ Center after its demolition during the Temple Square renovation project, in Salt Lake City, Utah, January 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Demolition of Temple Square’s North Visitors’ Center is nearly complete, as shown above. Work that remains includes removing the basement walls and sorting rubble for recycling.

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