SALT LAKE CITY — Construction is underway on a new tunnel at the Salt Lake City International airport that will make the walk from the main terminal to Concourse B shorter.
The new development is dubbed the "river tunnel" and will connect the terminal directly to Concourse B. Right now, travelers use the mid-concourse tunnel to walk from the terminal, halfway through Concourse A, and then to Concourse B.
Many Utahns and travelers have complained that the walk from the terminal to Concourse B is especially long. One lawmaker jokingly seeked to rename the airport the "Pioneer Children Memorial Airport," playing on a common hymn of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked."
“The tunnel itself, [there will be] passenger walking area in the center [and] moving sidewalks on either side the entire length of the tunnel,” explained Mike Williams, who works as the Program Director for the Salt Lake Airport Redevelopment Program.
Nearly 33 miles of steel have been used to support the tunnel, along with 3,800 tons of rebar and 48,000 cubic yards of concrete.
When completed, the tunnel will also feature artwork with a river theme.
“When we drop you down into this tunnel I’m going to take you into a whole, another world," said artist Gordon Huether. "I’m just gonna bring it down, the temperature down for you.”
Huether explained the river tunnel is focused on helping travelers relax in what can be a stressful place.
A train will also eventually be added once Concourse C is complete but that's a couple of years down the road.
The river tunnel is scheduled to open in October 2024.