PORTLAND – The popular train at the Oregon Zoo has been closed down for the next year, as crews work to build a new route.
The tracks must be moved because of the new exhibits being built for the zoo's condors, polar bears and elephants.
The new train route will cost about $3 million to build. It will actually be a little shorter than the current route but zoo officials said it will offer better views of the animals from an elevated trestle.
“It’s disappointing but if it’s going to be rebuilt and go through new things, then we’re okay with it,” said zoo visitor Shannon McGuire.
Money for the train project will come from the $120 million Zoo Improvement Bond approved by voters in 2008. That bond is also paying for the expansion of the elephant habitat from 1.5 acres to more than six acres.
As for the popular train rides, zoo officials promised that they will be back in operation in time for Zoo Lights 2014.
KGW reporter Tim Gordon contributed to this report.