The Orange County Great Park Board approved $65.5 million to continue building one of the nation's largest public works projects in Irvine, Calif.

The approved construction, to be completed this year, includes developing 200 acres (15%) of the 1,347-acre park, which, along with adjoining residential/commercial developments, could create tens of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue over the next 12 years. This phase of construction includes adding a sports park, arts and cultural exhibition area, 100-acre farm, an agricultural pavilion, community gardens, and transportation and parking improvements.

Portions of the park are already open to the public — including the Great Park Balloon, which takes visitors 400 feet aloft for a bird's eye view. When finished, the park will knit together 55 miles of trails that link to nearby residential neighborhoods and business districts.

For more park coverage, see “Regional Renaissance” on page 48 in the August 2009 issue of PUBLIC WORKS.