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Matt Powers, Deseret News
The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium put a massive shark tunnel into place Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013. The 40-foot tunnel is made of 6 1/2-inch-thick Plexiglas.

DRAPER — A major milestone was reached at the new Loveland Living Planet Aquarium on Wednesday as the 40-foot shark tunnel was put in place.

A crane raised the tunnel 43 feet into the air and then lowered the massive 26,000-pound tunnel made of 6 ½ inch thick Plexiglas through the roof.

The tunnel is part of the 300,000-gallon shark tank in the Ocean Explorer Gallery. When it opens in mid-December, visitors will be able to walk through the tunnel and watch 16 to 20 sharks swim overhead.

The gallery will also feature different marine species, such as octopus, stingrays, seahorses and other deep-sea creatures.

The new aquarium at 12033 S. Lone Peak Parkway has more than 136,000 square feet, while the old location in Sandy, which is now closed, was about 40,000 square feet.

The new aquarium will have two floors. The first floor will feature the Discover Utah, Ocean Explorer, Journey to South America galleries, as well as the Penguin Encounter exhibit.

The second floor will include access to the upper levels of several of the galleries, as well as a café and a 4-D theater.

—Viviane Vo-Duc