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Building Out, Building Up: SLC Celebrates the Topping Off of the New North Concourse Project

The Salt Lake City Department of Airports recently celebrated the topping off of the first phase of the Salt Lake City International Airport’s (SLC) new $850 million, 465,000 SF North Concourse facility. Part of SLC’s $3.5 billion Airport Redevelopment Program (ARP), the first phase of the concourse will add 20 gates and dedicated spaces for airline operations, concessions, amenities, and storage and maintenance.

Hill International, Inc. is providing program management support for the ARP, assisting the Department’s team with program controls, field engineering, QA/QC, safety coordination, and document control.  Although termed a redevelopment program, in fact the ARP represents an entirely new airport. Once complete, the new SLC will be the first and only “21st century” hub in the U.S., and, according to the Airports’ Executive Director Bill Wyatt, the program will be completed without the use of local tax dollars.

Charles Idehen, the Hill team’s Program Controls manager, explained, “We broke ground on the north concourse back in January 2018. Now we’ve placed the last beam, and the countdown to the formal opening in 2020 is well underway. Hill has been a part of this program, and the concourse project, since its inception, so reaching this milestone and seeing it happen means a great deal to all of us. It’s an ambitious, amazing program, and it’s gratifying to know our assistance helped make it happen.”

The ARP will ultimately replace 29 structures, including three terminals and five concourses, and encompasses several supporting projects including an elevated roadway with one level for drop-off and one level for pick-up.

The entire program will be delivered using the Construction Manager-at-Risk (CMAR) method, and is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification. More than 23 million passengers use SLC annually, with more than 700 scheduled daily flights. The ARP will modernize the Airport’s terminals and add two new concourses to accommodate this traffic. The 2020 opening of the North Concourse will be followed by demolition work on the existing facility, which will allow for the construction of the East Concourses scheduled for completion in 2023.

“SLC is already a national—and global—aviation hub,” said Patrick McGarry, Hill’s regional Vice President. “The new North Concourse specifically, and the ARP in general, will cement the airport’s status for decades, as well as spark more and more local economic growth.

“Other U.S. airports should take note,” concluded McGarry. “Yes, SLC has the advantage of plenty of land to build out, but regardless, the ARP shows how you plan, manage, and execute a multi-billion-dollar, multi-project airport program.”