SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Construction begins Friday on a $1.8 billion project designed to revamp terminals and streamline operations and at Salt Lake City International Airport.
Officials from the airport and Salt Lake say the remodeling will prove tricky because crane and forklifts maneuver right next to the existing airport, which will operate as normal.
The logistics are "staggeringly complex," said Maureen Riley, executive director of Salt Lake City's Department of Airports. Officials contend the update is overdue. They say the facility, a common transfer point for national and international Delta Airlines flights, handles about twice as many travelers as it was built to.
The new design trades in the hub's three terminals for one big terminal. Officials last year told The Associated Press they drew inspiration from southern Utah's smaller airports, where the region's soaring red rocks are featured inside the facility. They hope to incorporate the same "sense of place," they said, by showcasing eastward views of the Wasatch mountains.
The peaks less than an hour's drive from Salt Lake City are considered a world-class playground for skiers and other winter sports enthusiasts.
The new terminal is scheduled to open in 2022 with 72 gates instead of the current 86.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1qLXgSy ) it's set to open in part by 2019. It's expected to open in full by 2022.
The design by San Francisco-based HOK incorporates three levels. One is designated exclusively for customs and international travel. Another will hold a lounge, conference and meeting space.
Passenger fees, rental car charges and federal grants fund the project.
The terminal's length will stretch the equivalent of six Salt Lake City blocks.