Irvine officials broke ground Wednesday on a water park at the Orange County Great Park.

Officials are aiming to open the Wild Rivers Water Park by next summer.

The Irvine City Council approved the project in April 2020 and in November the city’s planning commission granted a permit for the 20-acre project at the southeast corner of Great Park Boulevard and Skyhawk.

The water park will feature slides and pools with room to potentially expand by three acres.

“I’m beyond thrilled to bring Wild Rivers back to Irvine,” Mayor Farrah N. Khan said, referring to the closure of the original version of the water park in September 2011. That park opened in July 1986.

“The water park has been a special place for many community members, and I’m glad our residents will once again have this amenity in their backyards,” Khan said.

The park will have three sections, officials said.

An Adventure River will feature slides for children and a shallow pool. Another section will include raft rides, tube slides, drop slides and body slides. Another section will feature “The Mat Racers” and a wave pool.

The water park will be open mid-May through mid-September and can be used for other activities the rest of the year.

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