API Summer 2021

U N I V E R S A L D E S I G N

BUILDING WITH ACCESSIBILITY IN MIND

Most of the Redwood Sky Walk at the Sequoia Park Zoo is ADA accessible. Parts that aren’t, like the catenary bridges (below left), are open access.

BY KATIE BRINTON

Open access and ADA compliant designs offer a path forward when it comes to broadening access to the

treetops for users of all ages, abilities, and comfort levels.

Photos on this page: Sequoia Park Zoo

As the pool of outdoor participants continues to grow, the need for in- clusive attractions expands with it. Here are three recent projects that aim to provide a little something for everybody.

“redwood climb.” No actual climbing is involved, though; the ramp, like most of the Sky Walk, is ADA accessible. Synergo increased elevation slowly to ease par- ticipants into the heights. The attraction is entirely open access and belay-free. “On our end,” says Synergo co-owner and CEO Erik Marter, “we were excited about getting people off of the ground and into the branches and canopy of the forest. We wanted to make it as accessible to as many people’s abilities as possible, while still providing some challenge and excitement.” The structural details: 320 Garnier Limbs support nine viewing platforms, two fixed bridges, four traditional sus- pension bridges and four catenary sus- pension bridges. The catenary bridges make up part of an optional “adventure leg,” a 369-foot section, 36 inches wide constructed with open mesh decking.

Redwood Sky Walk (Synergo) Sequoia Park Zoo, Eureka, Calif.

The 1,104-foot Redwood Sky Walk, lo- cated at the Sequoia Park Zoo, reaches 100 feet above ground at its highest point, with many platforms sitting about 60 feet up in Eureka’s old-growth redwood forest. Designed and built by Synergo, it was set to open June 4, 2021. An ascent ramp provides access to the canopy walk. At 383 feet long, the ramp is roughly the length of the tallest known living coastal redwood tree, so walking it becomes a sort of virtual

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