Saint Louis Zoo Michael and Quirsis Riney Primate Canopy Trails

Cultural Institutions & Non-Profit
$5 Million - $20 Million
Year Completed
Square Footage

Sensitivity to animals
Tree Protection
No straight lines
Unique specialty materials

Tarlton served as General Contractor for the expansion of the Michael and Quirsis Riney Primate Canopy Trails exhibit at the Saint Louis Zoo. This first-of-its-kind immersive outdoor exhibit brings lemurs, Old World monkeys and New World monkeys into eight new outdoor habitats that encourage learning through play and exploration for the animals and zoo guests. The $13 million expansion allows the zoo to improve animal care and the health and well-being of primates by providing them access to the outdoors.

Major project scope included the construction of a forest canopy, overhead mesh tunnels, and a winding steel boardwalk at treetop levels. Tarlton managed the delegated design and construction of multiple systems and numerous specialty contractors to provide construction solutions on the technically complex project. The exhibit features climbing structures crafted from weathering steel and built around live trees protected during construction. The team also completed site work, minor grading, fencing, irrigation, utility connections, and construction of keeper catwalks, a cut stone building, and four smaller buildings.

New overhead mesh tunnels lead from the Primate House to tall, live trees and to other outdoor habitats with spaces for the animals to climb and perch. Guests can experience the primates from new vantage points, including a 200-foot-long, winding steel boardwalk at treetop levels.

Related Project

Saint Louis Zoo Projects