Industrial Supply and the Salt Lake Airport Expansion

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Industrial Supply and the Salt Lake Airport Expansion

Flying High in the Intermountain West: Industrial Supply and the Salt Lake Airport Expansion

It’s difficult to overstate the economic development that a thriving international airport can bring to a region. These facilities are one of the largest investments a city can make, and they can generate construction and operational jobs for thousands of residents. Just as significant in our globally connected world, airports facilitate the movement of people and goods that is a critical component of our modern economy.

Almost 90 years ago, Industrial Supply’s founder, Rudolph Orlob, recognized that Salt Lake City needed to expand its aviation capabilities in order to meet the needs of an increasingly prosperous and connected Intermountain West. As Chairman of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce’s Aviation Committee, he helped usher the city into the modern age of commercial air travel. Thanks to Mr. Orlob, Industrial Supply was involved in the construction of Salt Lake City’s first airport terminal and aviation administrative building, both of which were completed in 1933.

While Mr. Orlob showed great foresight in emphasizing the importance of air travel, he could not have anticipated the kind of growth the airport would undergo in the following decades. Today, the Salt Lake International Airport is the 23rd busiest airport in North America and the 85th busiest in the world. According to its website, last year, the airport served more than 25.5 million passengers and saw almost 340,000 commercial, cargo, general aviation, and military planes take off and land on its runways.

All of this air traffic has helped make Salt Lake City a leading economic force in the Intermountain West. It also has led the city to embark on a ten-year redevelopment plan that seeks to build an airport that can meet the ever-increasing demands for air travel services, and whose facilities meet current environmental and earthquake standards. The $3.6 billion price tag for this plan would have been inconceivable to Mr. Orlob, whose first airport project cost a total of $52,000!

The massive redevelopment project is managed by a joint venture between Atlanta-based Holder Construction and Big-D Construction. Industrial Supply is proud to help with the supplies needed to make important changes to our airport. The scope of the work the two companies are accomplishing is staggering. According to, in the last three years, they have:

  • Removed 2.7 million square-feet of pavement
  • Installed 19,000 tons of structural steel
  • Installed 110,000 square-feet of shoring and de-watering systems
  • Excavated 114,000 cubic yards for underground tunnel systems
  • Averaged 1,850 construction workers onsite

There is no question that the airport expansion project has both an immediate and long-term positive economic impact on our region. Industrial Supply is proud of our past and current involvement with this facility, and we very much look forward to being a part of its success in the years to come.

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