Temple Square earthquake proofing continues; ‘jack and bore’ process moves forward

Excavation under the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple continues as part of the seismic strengthening process called jack and bore, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 2021. Photo: Intellectual Reserve

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 29, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted an online update on the renovation of Temple Square Friday as efforts to protect the structure for possible earthquakes continues.

“The ‘jack and bore’ process, a key component of the seismic renovation system of the Salt Lake Temple, continues to move forward,” according to an update posted on the church’s website. “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.”

The deep excavation project, which began after the temple closed nearly two years ago in Dec. 2019, 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 website news release said.

“The next steps will include pouring concrete slab as a working surface before formwork begins on the lowest floor of the temple addition.”

Construction crews have also added five rows of horizontal bracing beams “to further reinforce the vertical steel and concrete columns that form the secant wall.”

Stone finials, small decorative caps used to ornament and accent spires and gables,  “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.”

New 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, the press release said.

Temple Square is expected to reopen in 2024.

Horizontal bracing beams are installed to reinforce the vertical columns of the secant wall of the temple, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 2021. Photo: Intellectual Reserve

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