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Racine Street bridge construction continues to affect downtown Menasha businesses

Racine Street Construction
Posted at 4:33 PM, Sep 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-10 14:04:23-04

MENASHA (NBC 26) — The Racine Street roundabout project was supposed to wrap up by the end of August but has been pushed back another month.

Located a few hundred feet from construction, The Sweet Lair, a Board Game Cafe and Bakery, saw changes in customer flow caused by the ongoing construction. 

“When they closed the road up to our location we did notice a significant decrease,” said Bri Lutz, owner of The Sweet Lair. “Thus we did change our hours because of it."

Just down the road from The Sweet Lair sits The Blind Lady, a business whose front entrance was blocked by construction for months. They were also forced to make some changes.

“The work we’ve done on the exterior has been on the garden back door because people were using the back door entrance,” said Jane Hamilton, the owner of The Mystical Earth Gallery and The Blind Lady.

Laura Jungwirth, the Menasha Public Works Director, is still urging people to stay patient as the city works on making arrangements for some temporary lighting solutions that would help open the road before the end of September.

“High hopes for the temporary because we don’t know the timing for the fixtures,” said Laura Jungwirth, the Menasha Public Works director.

If lighting remains the only issue, the road should open within the month and stay open.

“They should be able to put the new fixtures up under open traffic conditions so there will not be another closure,” said Jungwirth.

The new road will help traffic flow and with safety top of mind, lighting is an important piece of the puzzle.

“There’s going to be additional lighting down there so it’s going to be safer in that regard,” said Jungwirth.

Lutz is hopeful the completion of the roundabout will help clear up Main Street and bring some business back to Downtown.

“Just seeing more people come back downtown again and just seeing it be lively will be great,” said Lutz.

Downtown businesses are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel and they hope to see it along Racine Street soon as well.