The only subtropical zoo in the United States, Zoo Miami features more than 3,000 animals in cage-free exhibits spanning 740 acres. Each year nearly one million Zoo Miami guests are drawn to an experience that blends entertainment with education, and inspires an appreciation for the preservation of the world’s wildlife and their unique habitats. PCL’s renovation and expansion of Zoo Miami covers six acres of zoo property and included demolition of the park’s existing entrance, construction of the new entry plaza, and the new Florida: Mission Everglades exhibit. The plaza scope includes a 5,800-square-foot sales and event building and a 5,000-square-foot ticket sales and gift shop.
A key component of Zoo Miami’s new Florida: Mission Everglades attraction is the airboat ride, which transports guests along a river for close encounters with the diverse South Florida plant and animal species that inhabit the exhibit. PCL recognized that construction of the river channel by which the airboat would travel had to be meticulously coordinated among trade contractors. Placing themselves at the heart of the coordination action, PCL self-performed the cast-in-place concrete of the entire 1,000-foot river channel and completed the installation of ride systems for the airboat attraction. The PCL team worked alongside the electrical and mechanical contractors and applied increased oversight as they installed equipment to create the river-effect components, such as bubbling geysers. PCL’s ability to self-perform parts of the channel scope saved money for the owner and facilitated construction of the ride so that all components were carefully coordinated and installed correctly the first time.