Chahinkapa Zoo Improvements

In 1997, the Red River overran its banks causing flooding through the Red River Valley, including the Chahinkapa Park area in Wahpeton, North Dakota. A levee was constructed to mitigate future flooding. The levee system runs through the City of Wahpeton. In order for the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA to certify the levee, the city was required to remove all encroachments throughout the system within the levee right-of-way. These encroachments included trees, structures, monuments, and fencing. Additional requirements included a new trench drain and manholes along the toe of the levee.

One of the main areas impacted by this project was the Chahinkapa Park area, which includes the Chahinkapa Zoo. Some of the zoo’s existing animal habitats were encroaching the levee right-of-way. The animals affected included two species of primates, zebras, turkey vultures, elk, bison, and otters.

To get the city’s levee system certified, Interstate Engineering designed a two-phase project to correct the issues identified by the Corps of Engineers. Phase I including removing all encroachments from the levee system and installing a new trench drain along the toe of the levee through Chahinkapa Park. Animal habitats were also eliminated or relocated as part of this Phase. Phase II included the construction of a new zebra building and habitat, as well as the remodeling of the existing primate building to accommodate the new primate habitat and exhibit layout.

In addition to designing the two-phase project, Interstate Engineering handled the construction observation for the City of Wahpeton.