Menasha Lock Closure to Impact Paddlers - WBAY

Menasha Lock Closure to Impact Paddlers

Menasha Lock Closure to Impact Paddlers

City of Menasha - People participating in the state's largest daytime kayak and canoe trip on the Fox River this weekend will have to maneuver around the Menasha Lock.

The lock has been mostly closed for repairs since mid June. 

Organizers are preparing for the adjustment.

For weeks now, the Menasha Lock has been closed because of a problem with a hinge on one of the massive steel gates.

For those who navigate the Fox River it's a big hurdle and one that will be felt for those participating in the Park to Park Paddle Saturday.

"With the lock not in operation we decided to just go ahead with the normal event and the only difference is when people get here instead of going into the lock they'll come on out on this dock, new dock and they will pick their boat up and carry it across the bridge over the lock and just go right back into the lake and continue," said Jeff Mazanec, of the Northeast Wisconsin Paddlers. 

The 8.5 mile kayak and canoe trip, starts at Shattuck Park in Neenah and goes to Lutz Park in Appleton.

Those who operate the lock hope to announce a timetable for repairs by the end of this week.

"The authority has consulted with lock experts from the core of engineers as well as our own operational staff experts about the current problem, and we're in the process of finalizing a plan that will allow the repairs to begin as soon as possible," said Robert Stark of the Fox River Navigation Authority.  

Normally the event attracts between 200 and 350 paddlers. There is a concern this weekend that some people might stay home because of the lock situation, but organizers say they will make the best of it.  

Mazanec said, "We're excited about it. We're going to have a good time. The weather is looking like it's going to be great. We'd like to find maybe a football or rugby team looking to carry boats in the morning, but other than that we're just looking forward to having a nice time on the water."

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