Photos and Updates
May 28, 2010
Weekly Toyota Elephant Passage Construction Update
Don’t blink when you peek at the Toyota Elephant Passage construction site at Denver Zoo. One bat of the eye and you may miss something.
Crews already have bent steel – forming the framework for rock formations. This week, workers have been “shooting” concrete onto the framework to begin shaping rock work for Habitat F. This methodical process requires a two-man tandem to “shoot” concrete out of a fire hose-like apparatus onto the frame. Workers occasionally stop to hand-trowel the concrete into the proper shape for the rock work. Concrete also is being poured to complete the Habitat F pool.
The rock work will continue for the next 12 to 14 months until all of the habitats are completed.
Another big part of the project is the filtration building where the deepest foundation on Toyota Elephant Passage – 20 feet – has been excavated. Return piping from the five pools on the project is being installed as are the supply pipes from the filtration building to the pools.
The filtration building is a critical part because it will clean and re-circulate water for the entire Toyota Elephant Passage project – 1.7 billion gallons of water will pass through the system in a year.
On the far west side of the project you may notice a leveled piece of dirt where the Rhino/Tapir building will be built. The nine-“bedroom” facility will include four pools for Indian rhinos and Malayan tapirs.
And what about that big pile of dirt on the far south side of Toyota Elephant Passage near City Park? That’s where the Clayton Freiheit Elephant Building will be erected. The building will include eight bedrooms for the expanded home for Asian elephant s. The building will include a parlor where visitors can learn about the Zoo’s conservation efforts and how we care for the elephants.
Then there are those artificial trees that are made of a wire frame and gunite -- a mixture of cement, sand and water that is sprayed to the bottoms to form the mold of a tree. The trees will be a part of the El Pomar Asian Pavilion that will house the flying fox and fishing cat exhibit. Meanwhile, excavation for the Asian Pavilion has begun as well.
So, if you’re passing by the construction site, take a long look at all the work going on. Just don’t blink.