MENASHA – The lock that connects two of the major recreational lakes in the area, is still closed.
The Menasha Lock was shutdown because of a broken door hinge.
Work on the lock, which is northwest of Lake Winnebago, started Tuesday.
Fixing the Menasha Lock isn’t exactly what the Fox River Navigational System Authority had planned right before the holiday weekend.
But boaters say the lock is essential.
“I’m not going to hold my breath until they’re actually open. It sounds like they will be so I’ve got my fingers crossed,” said Andy Potter.
Potter works for the Appleton Yacht Club and he says boat traffic has been a lot slower since the lock closed.
“We didn’t get any boats coming through, obviously, and our own members weren’t able to go out,” Potter said.
“We were out to eat Friday night at Club Tavern and we were on our way back and we heard that the locks were closed. We couldn’t get back,” said Scott Rudebeck, a member of the Appleton Yacht Club.
Robert Stark is the chief operations officer and he says workers are replacing the broken piece of equipment.
“We examined the situation and determined that over time there was some metal fatigue that had occurred on the main flange piece that holds the top of the door and that over time from metal stress failed,” said Robert Stark.
Stark says this isn’t the first time the Menasha Lock has run into problems. The locks were also shut down four years ago.
“What we had happen then was a hinge pin seized up and wasn’t getting lubrication so it had to be taken apart and repaired,” he said.
Stark says this time he expects the lock to be up and running by Thursday evening.
“When something like this occurs you learn from it and you incorporate some different approaches into your protocol and into your procedures,” he said.
Stark says the authority will use different types of inspections on the locks to try and keep another break happening again.
More than 8,000 people passed through the Menasha Lock last year.