MENASHA – Mechanical problems are once again keeping boaters from traveling through the Menasha Lock.
“I think it’s a hassle for boaters but I think everybody’s understanding,” said Chelsea Spanbauer.
Spanbauer works for the Appleton Yacht Club and she says she didn’t hear a lot of complaints from boaters when the lock went down the second time.
“Everybody kind of had a sigh but most of our boaters that wanted to be on the other side were on the other side,” Spanbauer said.
Members of the Fox River Navigational System Authority were on site around 7 o’clock Monday morning to look at the damage.
“What happened last week was some pressure forced the hinge out of its seat and the result was that we could not operate on it because we couldn’t move the gate,” said Robert Stark, with the Fox River Navigational Authority.
Stark says when the lock broke about 20 boats were upstream and about six were downstream. The Menasha Harbor Master didn’t want to go on camera, but she did tell FOX 11 that 16 boats are still stranded at the marina.
“We have some ideas on why it happened but we need to understand better why it happened because there are some pressures going on here that need to be controlled,” Stark said.
As for now, it’s still unclear how long the repairs will take.
“That’s a question that I honestly won’t even be able to consider until I get other questions answered and until we know what the solution is going to be. Then we can assess how long it’s going to take and we can give answers on that,” Stark said.
Spanbauer says the club’s summer party, scheduled for this weekend, doesn’t look like it will go as planned.
“We had boats that were coming from the Fond du Lac Yacht Club that won’t be able to get down if the locks aren’t open and won’t be able to stay overnight by boat,” she said.
The navigational authority says, for now, the Menasha Lock will remain closed.
Stark says the last major construction on the Menasha lock was in the late ’70s.