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New video shows latest updates to the Salt Lake Temple renovation, has footage of tunnel underneath North Temple street

This story is a reverse-chronological timeline of updates related to the Salt Lake Temple renovation and will be updated throughout the project. Find more information at templesquare.org

May 2021 Construction Update

Newsroom published the following construction update on May 6, 2021.

Crews have reached the end of a new 180-foot-long (55 meters) tunnel underneath North Temple street that will connect the Conference Center parking lot to the new underground temple entrance. The final work of removing the concrete wall that leads into the Conference Center parking structure will be done later.

Workers recently began placing scaffolding on the west and north sides of the temple. The photo below is of the north wall. Scaffolding already covers the south side and will eventually surround the entire structure.

Crews continue to remove rows of stones from the temple walls for repair and cleaning. Each stone is carefully labeled and will be returned to its original spot.

To keep Salt Lake City clean, the renovation site has a truck washing bay. Before vehicles exit the temple renovation site onto South Temple street, wheels, axles, mud flaps, and other parts of each vehicle are thoroughly sprayed.

The photo below shows the progress of the excavation on the north side of the temple. The tunnel (shown in the first two photos above) is on the far left. In the middle is the preparation for the tower crane. This crane will be in place after the crane concrete foundation is poured. Lagging surrounds the site to keep soil in place.

This photo looks west at the renovation of the Church Office Building plaza. The Church Administration Building (left), the Joseph Smith Memorial Building (middle) and Church Office Building (right) are also shown. Crews are using conveyor belts to move soil and debris to a truck loading location. Trucks enter the site from North Temple and exit onto South Temple.

Finally, below are several square-headed nails that crews have found in the temple. These show some of the workmanship and materials used to build the Salt Lake Temple, which was finished in 1893. The longest nails are six inches (15 centimeters) long and show few signs of corrosion.


April 2021 Construction Update

Newsroom published the following construction update regarding work performed thus far in April 2021.

16 April 2021

As part of the Salt Lake Temple renovation project, a tunnel is being constructed underneath North Temple to connect the Conference Center parking lot to the underground facilities and entrance to the temple. The tunnel excavation is about 80 percent complete. These photos show the steel arches that are encased in shotcrete (a form of grout) to create the initial lining of the tunnel walls. The steel arches are spaced 4 feet (1.2 meters) apart. The drilling machine is used to remove the upper portion of soil, which is then hauled away by an excavator. This also removes the lower portion of the excavation as shown in the third photo below.

The temple is now surrounded on three sides by a secant wall. The secant walls are installed as close to the bottom edge of the existing footings as possible to contain and brace them in place. The secant wall is built by drilling deep holes where alternating steel and concrete columns are installed. These overlap with each other to create the retaining wall.

The copper roof sheathing of the temple has been completely removed and replaced with a temporary roof. This is in preparation for the installation of additional steel trusses, an important part of the seismic strengthening of the temple.

The upper stones of the temple walls are being gradually removed to prepare for the structural concrete bonding beams that will brace the walls. The stones that are removed will be reinstalled in their original positions.

When workers need to access the higher levels of the towers, they use a variety of safety measures, such as mandatory harnesses, to prevent falls. Harnesses are tied to existing hooks anchored in stones.

As stones are removed from the temple for repair and cleaning, workers ensure they are properly cataloged and labeled so they can be returned to their exact original placement. In this photo, workers help the tower crane operator guide the stone to placement for transportation and storage.

On the Church Office Building plaza, multiple conveyor belts help carry materials and debris for hauling off-site. The two fountains are being removed, along with walkways and planter boxes.


March 2021 Construction Update

Newsroom published the following construction update regarding work performed in March 2021. 

26 March 2021

This week on the Salt Lake Temple renovation project:

The excavation to create a tunnel underneath North Temple is underway. This tunnel will connect the Conference Center parking lot to the underground temple entrance to create safer and easier access for visitors to the temple. Previously, canopy tubes were installed at the upper perimeter of the tunnel to provide a support frame before drilling and excavation began. The excavation is now about halfway complete.

The worker and material lift continue to be assembled. Workers are now constructing scaffolding bridges that will connect the lift to the scaffolding, which will surround the entire temple. The lift will provide access to the various floors of the temple.

The work to remove the current temple roof and provide a temporary cover is about halfway through.

The Church Office Building Plaza has undergone a significant change. Most of the area surrounding the fountain has been excavated in preparation for significant restructuring and landscaping work.

A construction road made of recycled asphalt has been completed through the Church Office Building Plaza area from North Temple to South Temple to accommodate the movement of construction equipment and large trucks.

Aerial view of Salt Lake Temple Renovation, with focus on the area north of the temple. The square-shaped excavation on the right side of the picture is where the foundation for another tower crane will be placed.


Update on Salt Lake Temple Renovation

In a press release published on March 12, 2021, the First Presidency provided an update on the Salt Lake Temple Renovation which included some changes to the project. The press release included details such as:

  • • Two more instruction rooms, additional sealing ordinance rooms, and a second baptistry are being added to allow for greater capacity and more temple ordinances.

  • • Previously, the member experience in this temple included a progressive room-to-room presentation by live actors. When the temple reopens, this will transition to single-room presentations by film, available in more than 80 languages (previously presented only in English). This decision will also make it possible to hold more sessions each day. And finally, we hope it will help more members feel confident to serve as ordinance workers without the requirement for lengthy memorization.

  • • The area that previously housed the temple cafeteria will now accommodate additional temple facilities to support the increased capacity of the temple. There will not be a cafeteria included when the temple reopens.

Read the full press release and see new renderings


February 2021 Construction Update

Newsroom published the following construction update regarding work performed in February 2021. 

19 February 2021

Many of the stones on the top of the temple walls are being carefully removed for cleaning, preservation and short-term storage. They are labeled so they can be returned to their original places.

Work continues on the drilling underneath North Temple to provide for an underground entrance to the temple from the Conference Center parking structure.

In this photo below, drilling on the temple side consists of installing canopy tubes to create a structure that will support further excavation.

In this photo below, the parking structure is being shored up on the Conference Center side.

As part of the seismic upgrade of the temple, the existing roof is also being upgraded. The roof will be gradually removed and have a temporary covering (similar to a heavy-duty tarp) until the new roof is completed.

In this photo below, the south tower crane is lifting the temporary roof cover.

The plaza work that was announced in January 2021 is now visibly underway. The area between the Church Administration Building and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building is being used as a road to help move materials in and out of the plaza as the renovation continues.

5 February 2021

As part of the Salt Lake Temple renovation project, the grounds around the temple are also being renovated. In January, construction began on the Church Office Building plaza. Temporary fencing was first put in place, which has been followed by more permanent fencing.

Crews continue to work on preparing for the construction of the tunnel that will run underneath North Temple from the Conference Center parking structure to the future underground entrance to the temple. This involves drilling canopy tubes that form shoring support.

Near the southwest corner of the temple, shoring and excavation are complete for the installation of a worker/material lift. Due to the proximity to the foundation of the temple, the shoring ensures the lift excavation does not disturb the temple foundation. The lift will allow for easier access of workers and materials into the interior of the temple’s upper floors.

The stones along the upper walls of the temple are all being removed. As they are lifted off with a crane and placed in the ground, they are labeled. These will be placed in storage, cleaned, and repaired, and will ultimately return to their original places.


January 2021 Construction Update

Temple Square published the following construction update regarding work performed in January 2021.

22 January 2021

At the beginning of January 2021, the renovation of the Church Office Building plaza was announced and has begun.

Temporary fencing is in place to block off the areas that will be under construction for the next year and a half.

The south side of the temple is now covered in scaffolding. This will help workers in the stone repair and cleaning process as well as improve access for materials into the temple.

The deep excavation on the north side of the temple continues. The efforts right now will prepare for the placement of a second crane on the Temple Square construction site.


Find 2020 construction updates on the following page.

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