Salt Lake Temple renovation update: New steel trusses on the roof and plaza fountain removed

Four steel trusses have been added to the roof of the Salt Lake Temple during the past month and a half as part of the temple’s seismic design, according to a Monday, June 21, update on the Church’s Newsroom.  

Other updates include reinforcing the temple foundation as excavation on the temple’s north side continues, paving the tunnel to the Conference Center and removing the Church Office Building plaza fountain.  

The Salt Lake Temple renovation project was announced in April 2019 and began at the end of December 2019. It is expected to take four years. It includes replacing the temple’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, seismic upgrades, along with restoring and refreshing the temple interior and grounds. Earlier this month, it was announced that the North Visitors’ Center is being decommissioned in preparation for demolition later this year.

Crew members pair existing steel trusses, which are painted in yellow, side by side with new trusses as part of the seismic design of the Salt Lake Temple, Salt Lake City, June 2021
Crew members pair existing steel trusses, which are painted in yellow, side by side with new trusses as part of the seismic design of the Salt Lake Temple, Salt Lake City, June 2021 Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Steel trusses: The new steel trusses are installed two at a time and are paired with existing ones. Once the trusses are in place, they are cross-braced with nuts and bolts. Welding isn’t used, to avoid the risk of fire, according to Newsroom. Each truss is 88 feet long on the bottom and weight about 35,000 pounds.  
The previously built buttresses on a deep secant wall are gradually exposed to prepare for more excavation needed to construct three additional floors in a temple annex during the renovation of the Salt Lake Temple in downtown Salt Lake City, June 2021.
The previously built buttresses on a deep secant wall are gradually exposed to prepare for more excavation needed to construct three additional floors in a temple annex during the renovation of the Salt Lake Temple in downtown Salt Lake City, June 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Supports: An 80-foot deep secant wall of alternating steel and concrete columns with buttresses was previously installed around the temple’s foundation to form a retaining wall. On the north side of the temple, the wall is gradually being exposed as crews prepare for deeper excavation to allow for construction of three additional floors in a temple annex. These include the baptismal fonts, sealing rooms, dressing room and administrative offices.

The buttresses also help with the load and lateral forces from the more than 185 million-pound temple.  

The secant wall’s steel and concrete columns are also being reinforced with horizontal steel beams called “walers” with post-tensioned cables to help resist the natural soil pressure at deeper levels, according to Newsroom.  

A view of the Salt Lake Temple from the tunnel underneath North Temple Street that will eventually connect the Conference Center parking lot to the temple, Salt Lake City, June 2021.
A view of the Salt Lake Temple from the tunnel underneath North Temple Street that will eventually connect the Conference Center parking lot to the temple, Salt Lake City, June 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Tunnel: A tunnel under North Temple that will connect the Conference Center parking to the temple has been lined with concrete and the floor is a structural concrete slab. The tunnel had been previously excavated to the wall of the Conference Center parking garage and will continue into the garage in coming months.
A view of the Church Office Building Plaza after the removal of a large fountain, Salt Lake City, June 2021.
A view of the Church Office Building Plaza after the removal of a large fountain, Salt Lake City, June 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Church Office Building plaza renovation: The circular fountain on the plaza has been removed.

The plaza renovation — which includes a new waterproofing system, removing the circular fountain and creating green space and gardens — was announced in January and is expected to last about 18 months.