Temple Square renovation update: Pouring concrete for the addition, vertical drilling from the roof and boring pipes below the foundation

From the vertical drilling at the top of the temple to pipes inserted below the temple, work on the Salt Lake Temple renovation project continues as the project nears its two-year anniversary, according to the Church Newsroom’s latest update.

The First Presidency also released an updated completion date for the Temple Square project of 2025. The renovation project was announced in April 2019 and began on Dec. 29, 2019.

“The work is truly remarkable and is being guided by the First Presidency,” they wrote. “Inspired modifications and additions to the project and scope have been made so the temple and Temple Square can serve many generations yet to come.” 

Read more: First Presidency: Work underway on Salt Lake Temple renovation project ‘is truly remarkable’

Also, concrete is being poured for the new addition to the Salt Lake Temple. The demolition of the North Visitors’ Center continues as does work on the Church Office Building plaza.  

Concrete

Preparation of the steel mat for the concrete pour that will form the foundation of the new floors of the temple during the Temple Square renovation project, Salt Lake City, on Dec. 6, 2021.
Preparation of the steel mat for the concrete pour that will form the foundation of the new floors of the temple during the Temple Square renovation project, Salt Lake City, on Dec. 6, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

On the north side of the Salt Lake Temple, crews have set up a steel mat to help hold a 42-inch thick floor of the temple addition. They’ve laid concrete over more than half of the area. The largest concrete pour this week will form the first quarter of the temple addition with some 1,800 cubic yards of concrete poured by three pumps over about eight to 10 hours.

The north addition of the temple will accommodate three additional floors for baptistries, sealing rooms, dressing rooms and offices.

Vertical drilling

One of two drills positioned on the roof of the Salt Lake Temple used to drill inside the tower and wall columns where post-tension cables are inserted and anchored into the foundation that is 80 feet or 24 meters below in Salt Lake City, during December 2021.
One of two drills positioned on the roof of the Salt Lake Temple used to drill inside the tower and wall columns where post-tension cables are inserted and anchored into the foundation that is 80 feet or 24 meters below in Salt Lake City, during December 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Workers have started drilling vertically inside the temple’s tower and wall columns through to the foundation. They started in the north wall near the northwest tower. Tension cables will go into the column and be anchored to the foundation about 80 feet, or 24 meters, below. 

Read more: A guide to visiting Temple Square this Christmas

Jack and bore

The work on the seismic strengthening for the temple continues as large pipes are inserted below its existing foundation through the jack and bore method. These pipes have been reinforced with steel and filled with structural concrete to act as supporting beams below the foundation. 

The first steel pipe was inserted in late August under the east towers, according to an earlier update. A total of 92 pipes — 40 feet long and 3.5 to 4 feet in diameter — will support the temple’s foundation. 

Soil inside the pipes is initially removed by hand to help with installation. About half of the pipes will be dug by hand and others will be drilled by machine.

During the jack and bore seismic strengthening process, pipes are reinforced with steel and filled with structural concrete to act as supporting beams beneath the existing Salt Lake Temple foundation as part of the Temple Square renovation project in downtown Salt Lake City during December 2021.
During the jack and bore seismic strengthening process, pipes are reinforced with steel and filled with structural concrete to act as supporting beams beneath the existing Salt Lake Temple foundation as part of the Temple Square renovation project in downtown Salt Lake City during December 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Stone

Workers have been removing stones from the top of the temple’s towers and walls and cataloging them before sending them for repair or restoration. Recently, crews have been working on the eastern towers and walls.

The process of removing and cataloging stone for repair and restoration from the eastern towers and walls of the temple is viewed from the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City in December 2021.
The process of removing and cataloging stone for repair and restoration from the eastern towers and walls of the temple is viewed from the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City in December 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Video: After inspecting Salt Lake Temple renovation project, President Nelson says we should all be ‘worthy of the temple’

North Visitors’ Center

Demolition continues on the North Visitors’ Center and is scheduled to be completed in January 2022. Workers are sorting the debris, including concrete and steel, for recycling. The replica Christus statue was removed this summer and will be reinstalled on Temple Square at the end of the renovation, according to Newsroom. The area will become a garden space with views of the temple and also have additional restrooms.

The Conference Center is open for guests to Temple Square. It hosts a replica of sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen’s the Christus, a cutaway model of the Salt Lake Temple, the 21,000-seat Conference Center auditorium and views of Temple Square and the Salt Lake Temple renovation.

Progress of the demolition of the North Visitor’s Center on Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City on Dec. 6, 2021.
Progress of the demolition of the North Visitor’s Center on Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City on Dec. 6, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Church Office Building plaza

Workers are preparing the area to create flag stands that will represent the world’s nations. Previously, workers were waterproofing the plaza area.

Styrofoam blocks are used as spacers to reduce the weight of the soil on the repaired deck. The blocks will be covered with topsoil.

The 18-month plaza project includes taking out a leaking fountain and creating green spaces and gardens and the formation of international flags. 

The Church Office Building plaza is prepared to display flags representing the nations of the world and Styrofoam blocks are used as spacers to reduce the weight of the soil on the repaired deck as part of the Temple Square renovation project in downtown Salt Lake City during December 2021.
The Church Office Building plaza is prepared to display flags representing the nations of the world and Styrofoam blocks are used as spacers to reduce the weight of the soil on the repaired deck as part of the Temple Square renovation project in downtown Salt Lake City during December 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints