A proposed 26-acre family-themed water park with 80-foot water slides is expected to begin construction in spring 2007 on a piece of Randalls Island parkland at the juncture of the East and Harlem Rivers, under the vast Triborough Bridge. It took seven years for the city to finalize the specifics of the water park. The plan was first proposed in 1999 by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as a 12-acre facility. Seven years later, under the Bloomberg administration, the proposed park has more than doubled in size and is fast approaching the construction phase.
Some are concerned by the continuous commercialization of the area and the increasing size of the proposed park. Local residents also fear that the high price of admission will exclude a large percentage of the area’s low-income residents. The city believes the proposed water park will be a great attraction and addition to the city with the Department of Parks and Recreation projecting that the proposed water park would attract 1.3 million annual visitors. The city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee approved the 35-year lease with Aquatic Development in April 2006.