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Seismic strengthening and excavation continue as Salt Lake Temple renovation nears 2-year mark

The south and east sides of the Salt Lake Temple are covered by scaffolding.
The south and east sides of the Salt Lake Temple are covered by scaffolding and surrounded by construction equipment as crews continue the renovation project started in 2019.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

With the Temple Square renovation nearing the end of its second year, crews continued to focus on seismic strengthening and lower-level excavations, as well as stone removal and installing additional trusses to the roof of the Salt Lake Temple in the month of October.

Ten photos and information describing each phase of the construction process were provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Thursday in a news release.

The church closed the Salt Lake Temple for renovation in December 2019 and the Church Office Building plaza in in February 2021 for an upgrade.

The October update comes more than two years after President Russell M. Nelson announced major renovation plans for the Salt Lake Temple.

What is the ‘jack and bore’ process?

“The ‘jack and bore’ process, a key component of the seismic renovation system of the Salt Lake Temple, continues to move forward. Pipes filled with reinforced steel, post-tensioning strands and high-strength concrete are placed in the original foundation. These steel pipes are 3.5 to 4 feet in diameter. Soil is removed from inside the pipes as they are gradually inserted horizontally. Each pipe is 40 feet long, made from two 20-foot-long pieces welded together. So far, five of 92 such pipes have been installed and three have been filled with concrete.”

Excavation under the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple continues as part of the seismic strengthening process.
Excavation under the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple continues as part of the seismic strengthening process called jack and bore in Salt Lake City, Utah, in October 2021.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Deep excavation continues

“Deep excavation continues on the north side of the temple to prepare for three additional lower levels. These lower floors will include sealing rooms, two baptistries, administrative offices, changing rooms and a tunnel entrance to the temple from the Conference Center parking garage.

“The excavation is nearly at the bottom level. The next steps will include pouring concrete slab as a working surface before formwork begins on the lowest floor of the temple addition.

“All five rows of walers (horizontal bracing beams) in the large secant wall have now been installed to further reinforce the vertical steel and concrete columns that form the secant wall.”

Horizontal bracing beams are installed to reinforce the vertical columns of the secant wall of the temple, Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 2021.
Horizontal bracing beams are installed to reinforce the vertical columns of the secant wall of the temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, in October 2021.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The north side of the Salt Lake Temple, with the Joseph Smith Memorial Building to the left, covered by scaffolding.
The north side of the Salt Lake Temple, with the Joseph Smith Memorial Building to the left, covered by scaffolding and surrounded by construction equipment, are pictured in October 2021 as crews continue the renovation project started in 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Stone removal

“Finials and stones of various sizes continue to be removed from the towers and the upper north and south walls of the temple. Each stone is carefully cataloged and labeled before being taken to a storage place. Each stone will be reinstalled at the very same location it was originally placed. The picture below shows the original black markings used by the early Latter-day Saint builders to label each stone location.

“Additional roof trusses have also been installed alongside the original trusses, which will remain in place. All new trusses will brace the upper north and south temple walls as part of the seismic improvements. Workers wear protective suits as they work on the stone removal.”

Finials and stones that must be removed from the towers as part of the renovation process are carefully catalogued and labeled.
Finials and stones that must be removed from the towers as part of the renovation process are carefully catalogued and labeled and wait to be moved to safe storage in October 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Some pieces of original, pioneer-era stonework are removed and carefully catalogued and stored.
Some pieces of original, pioneer-era stonework are removed and carefully catalogued and stored in October 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah, in order to be returned to their correct place at the end of the project.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Workers wear protective suits as they work on the stone removal and preservation, Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 2021.
Workers wear protective suits as they work on the stone removal and preservation in October 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church Office Building plaza

“Reconstruction work on the Church Office Building plaza is proceeding. New concrete has been laid and waterproofed. An elliptical concrete structure is being built to display flags in the plaza.”

View from the west side of the Church Office Building plaza where new concrete has been poured and waterproofed.
View from the west side of the Church Office Building plaza where new concrete has been poured and waterproofed in October 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
View from the west side of the Church Office Building plaza where a new elliptical structure can be see.
View from the west side of the Church Office Building plaza where a new elliptical structure can be seen on the right where country flags will be displayed, as pictured in Salt Lake City, Utah, in October 2021.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The makings of a new concrete elliptical structure on the southeast side of the Church Office Building plaza where country flags will be displayed.
The makings of a new concrete elliptical structure on the southeast side of the Church Office Building plaza where country flags will be displayed are pictured in Salt Lake City, Utah, in October 2021.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Covered in scaffolding

“The last photo shows a view of the temple from the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. On the east side of the temple is a new utility bridge to provide additional power for the vertical drilling work. This drilling will run the length of the walls and towers from top to bottom to further reinforce the building’s stonework.”

The south and east sides of the Salt Lake Temple are covered by scaffolding and surrounded by construction equipment.
The south and east sides of the Salt Lake Temple are covered by scaffolding and surrounded by construction equipment in Salt Lake City, Utah, in October 2021 as crews continue the renovation project started in 2019.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

To learn more about the Salt Lake Temple renovation, visit templesquare.org or ChurchofJesusChrist.org.