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            (Friday, August 13, 2010) -- Acting Mayor Kirk W. Caldwell and City officials today broke ground for the Honolulu Zoo’s Asian elephant tropical forest exhibit.


Acting Mayor Caldwell said, “This will be a terrific new attraction, creating a spacious, natural environment for our elephants and a larger viewing area for zoo visitors.  It joins a long list of improvements the City has made to the zoo, which have included the Keiki Zoo, orangutan exhibit, learning center, veterinary clinic, the new entrance now under construction, and more—all to make this a must-see for residents and visitors alike.


“With an average of 600,000 visitors a year, the Honolulu Zoo continues to be one of our top attractions and a source of great pride for the City and County of Honolulu.”


This is the second phase of a two-phase project.  It includes the installation of 8-foot tall steel post and cable barriers; two exhibit areas each with a 55,000-gallon pool and 9-foot tall planters for shade trees; a pool water filtration system with lift stations and sedimentation basin; relocation of existing trees and planting of more than 30 new trees; three hydraulic gates; new concrete walkways; 4-foot tall chain link fence; landscaping; irrigation; grading; and rock work.


            The first phase consisted of the construction of a holding facility located at the back of the exhibit area.  The holding facility was completed in February 2007 and included a 7,260-square-foot reinforced concrete building to house cow and bull elephants.  An elephant restraining device to allow the safe examination of the animals was incorporated into the building, as were sewers and utilities.


The new exhibit will have 1.4 acres of viewing area, which does not include the holding facility.  The cost is $6.35 million and will take about a year to complete once construction begins this September.


The contractor is Watts Constructors, the consultant is SSFM International, and the construction manager is Limtiaco Consulting Group.





Bill Brennan, 768-6928