Henry Doorly Zoo – African Grasslands
- Located in Omaha, NE
- 28-acre exhibit
- Elephant amphitheater
Photo credit: BRENDAN SULLIVAN / THE WORLD-HERALD
- Geotechnical Engineering
- Materials Testing and Special Inspections
This has been the largest project in the zoo’s history. This 28-acre $78 million project transformed the eastern border of the zoo into an authentic African landscape. The African Grasslands displays a savanna abundant with elephants, zebras, impalas, giraffes, and lions. Elephants, zebras and impalas will share watering holes; giraffes, rhinos, and ostriches will share a beautiful large yard; and lions will roar from the top of the hill to the valley below. Thiele Geotech, Inc. conducted multiple geotechnical explorations. The recommendations developed during the investigations included the over excavation of existing uncontrolled fill at the elephant building. This was significant in scope and cost as it exceeded 35 feet in depth in areas. The building pad was then surcharged after it was brought back to grade with suitable material. Additional structures were over excavated to remove rubble fill and/or unsuitable bearing conditions to support shallow foundations. During the construction phase, Thiele Geotech observed reinforced concrete, retaining wall installation, structural masonry and welded and bolted connections. Materials testing was performed on soils, concrete, masonry, and shotcrete.