SALT LAKE CITY (March 2) – Utah’s Hogle Zoo will complete a major step in its Rocky Shores construction project Friday, March 4. The largest mobile crane in Utah will lift and install the Zoo’s new bridge over Emigration Creek, which will eventually link Rocky Shores with the entrance of Asian Highlands.
"The bridge placement is a milestone in the construction project which will bring Hogle Zoo’s guests up close, and nose-to-nose, with polar bears, seals, sea lions and more when Rocky Shores opens in late spring of 2012," Hogle Zoo Executive Director Craig Dinsmore said.
In addition to providing people with a unique view of the animals, Rocky Shores will educate the public on sustainability and its role in the conservation of polar bears in the wild.
"Very few of us will ever have a chance to see polar bears, otters, seals or sea lions in the wild. The Zoo’s Rocky Shores exhibit will provide visitors with the unique opportunity to make personal connections with these animals, to explore the latest science regarding their survival in the wild, and the motivation to help each of us make sure that these animals remain part of our future," Hogle Zoo Education Curator Chris Schmitz said.
Installation of the 70,000 pound bridge will require the use of a 550-ton capacity mobile crane. Seven semi-truck loads of counterweights will secure the crane as it lifts the bridge over and sets it down atop its abutments.
Once completed, Rocky Shores will not only tell the story of the polar bear, who’s survival is becoming more threatened every day, it will also engage visitors of all ages and educate them about some of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time.