SALT LAKE CITY — Three hundred and sixty truckloads of concrete were delivered to the Salt Lake Temple foundation this month during two overnight concrete pours — all in preparation for the coming installation of seismic base isolators, a momentous step forward in the comprehensive renovation project.
The first of the pours started just after midnight on April 11, with Jacobsen Construction’s concrete teams adding nearly 1,700 cubic yards of concrete into the excavated footing space at the base of the temple’s west tower. Andy Kirby, director of historic temple renovations for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, told the Deseret News that that day’s concrete placement “creates the footing for the new foundation,” in conjunction with other essential pours.
“We’ve done all the preparation,” Kirby told a reporter in an interview appearing in the Deseret News and on KSL.com earlier this month. “Now we’re building up out of the ground.”
The second pour operation occurred from shortly after midnight until almost 10 a.m. on April 20, with another 1,700 cubic yards of concrete added at the temple’s east side during that time. Other pours that same week added another 1,300 total cubic yards at the base of the South Visitor Center and other locations on Temple Square.
For both pours at the base of the historic temple, special accommodations were made to reduce noise in compliance with city ordinances. Because there is the equivalent of approximately 180 total cubic yards’ of reinforcing rebar contained in the footings at the base of the east and west towers, a self-consolidating concrete mix was used in the most congested areas within the footings to avoid blockages.
“We experienced no deficiencies during this process. We’re grateful to report that it went off without a hitch,” said Jacobsen Project Executive Josh Fenn. “The team organized a strong logistical plan in place beforehand, and worked to ensure it was well-executed. The team was able to do a great job because everybody did their part.”
The concrete pours completed in April are the largest to date at the Salt Lake Temple.
“Now that we’re building back up around the historic foundations and structure, these pours are a very significant part of making that happen,” Fenn said. “So, for that reason, this was an essential milestone in the life of the project.”
The new concrete footings are shaped precisely to anchor the 98 base isolators that are being installed in order to keep the 130-year-old temple from excessive movement during a large seismic event. A few even larger pours are expected later this year when the team adds enormous concrete transfer beams situated atop the base isolator structures.