Engineering you can count on

Emergency Response


Following a tragedy at the San Francisco Zoo on Christmas Day 2007, involving the escape of a Siberian tiger and attack of three zoo patrons, Yerba Buena was called upon as the prime contractor to perform an emergency renovation within a 30-day timeframe. The project included long-lasting concrete construction and repairs extending the height of the concrete moat walls around the tiger exhibit from 12.5 to 16.4 feet to meet the guidelines of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The project also included a storm sewer, irrigation system, new paving, electric hotwire and landscaping, installation of a chain-link fence wire and installation of decorative stainless steel mesh elements.


Yerba Buena coordinated construction at the site where other businesses remained open and were highly visited by the public, causing constraints on the project that included lack of vehicular access, controlled visitation and restricted activities. Due to the Oceanside location, work was performed on rugged terrain under difficult climatic conditions, including repairs made to concrete exposed to high chloride levels found in marine environments. Further complicating the situation, San Francisco experienced extreme weather conditions requiring different safety protocols to make sure tools were grounded properly. The 29-day project incurred nearly 6000 man-hours. Despite the challenges, the emergency repair portion of the project was completed in the condensed timeframe and allowed the exhibit to safely reopen.


Scope of work included earthwork, alteration/repair, habitat restoration, structural reinforcement, rehabilitation/renovation, demolition and abatement of hazardous materials.