After two decades of planning and six years of construction, the new Salt Lake City International Airport opened in 2020 to replace three aging, 1950s and 1960s terminals and concourses with a state-of-the-art, $4.1 billion facility on the same site. It is the largest public works project in Utah’s history and the first new U.S. hub airport in the 21st century. The new airport will be able to handle 34 million passengers per year, positioning Salt Lake City for economic growth as an increasingly popular destination for tourism and business.
The first phase includes a new 909,000-sq.-ft. central terminal building and the west portions of two linear concourses—the 3,700-foot-long Concourse A and the 3,400-foot-long Concourse B—with a total of 45 new gates. A nearly 1,000-foot-long passenger tunnel links the concourses.
A soaring interior atrium, “The Canyon,” spans the length of a football field and houses security screening areas, shopping, and food and beverage outlets. Artist Gordon Huether created a 362-foot-long, wavy sculpture made of more than 520 tensile membrane ‘fins’ that define the walls, with the design reflecting Utah’s dramatic red rock canyons, alpine peaks and moving water.
The second phase, expected to be complete in 2024, will include demolishing existing structures and building out the east portion of the South concourse. The dramatic global slowdown in air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled the team to accelerate the new airport’s completion by two years, potentially saving up to $300 million.
2020 UC&D Building Project of the Year