8-MGD California Trail Gondola
|Customer||East Bay Zoological Society/Oakland Zoo|
|Vertical rise||29.0 m|
|Inclined length||171.0 m|
The first highlight for the Oakland Zoo’s 56-acre expansion into the new exhibit known as the California Trail is their new 8-passenger gondola and new restaurant (The Landing Café) overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Starting in 2018, visitors will have an up-close view of native Californian animal species such as grizzly bears, the California condor, mountain lions, buffalo and other species inherent to California. The gondola accessing this new development is particularly spacious and features safari-style windows with bars on the tower side of the cabin. A lightweight polycarbonate cover can be placed over the bars to protect the passengers from wind, rain and cold when the weather is not cooperating. Level loading and unloading access is provided for all the cabins, making Oakland Zoo the first zoo in the USA to offer guests an ADA-compliant gondola ride.
The biggest challenge facing the construction of the California Trail Gondola was incorporating the top station into a multifunctional building that also houses the new restaurant and other facilities. This called for very close collaboration and precise schedule coordination with the building contractors. Optimal use has been made of the available space and visitors unload directly beneath the new restaurant facility.
Doppelmayr USA designed and implemented this individually tailored ropeway solution. The lift’s seven towers were manufactured in Salt Lake City and the parts for the station in Saint-Jérôme, Quebec. The location of one of Doppelmayr USA’s sales and service offices near Lake Tahoe has been a major benefit for the customer from the outset as it means they always have a local point of contact.