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Racine Street Bridge reopens, connecting Doty Island area to downtown Menasha

Menasha Blue Jay bench at Racine Street Bridge
Posted at 10:07 PM, Apr 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-01 15:10:00-04

MENASHA (NBC 26) — The long-awaited opening of the Racine Street Bridge came on Wednesday evening. Since the Doty Island-Menasha connection has been re-established, have downtown businesses experienced any side effects?

Bri Lutz, the owner of Sweet Lair Bakery and Board Game Cafe, said she's seeing more happy customers come in — despite the chilly atmosphere.

“On Wednesday night they had the celebration, which was really great. There was a lot of foot traffic even though it was cold outside. A whole bunch of people came down and supported lots of the local businesses, including ours," Lutz said.

She also said the bridge may inspire more businesses to come to downtown Menasha, enriching the area even more.

“It’s exciting, like, all the things that are coming to downtown, and I think the bridge being open gives more possibilities," Lutz said. "A lot of businesses moved out, and a lot of things have changed. And I think with this possibility of it being open again... can remind people that we’re down here and maybe get some more businesses feeling more comfortable to come down here."

Once warmer sets in, the full impact of the bridge's reopening will become clearer.