The 3.2-mile Loop the Lake trail that connects Neenah and Menasha around Little Lake Buttes Des Morts has some homeowners concerned about the volume of people it will bring into their neighborhood.
A bridge that is part of the loop is being built between two homes on Water Street in Neenah. It will cross over the lake and connect with the Trestle Trail, and another bridge that crews in Menasha are building,
“Being involved in the original Trestle, what an incredible impact that has made and when we built that and connected it, all people could say was what a great addition this was to the Fox Valley, to the City of Neenah and then the Town of Menasha,” Mike Kading, the Neenah Parks and Recreation Director, said.
While the bridge will be good for the community, those who live next to the trail are concerned about hte volume of people it will bring into their neighborhood.
“Hopefully it won’t bring people hanging out at night and everything else, because yeah, there’s going to be people we don’t know all of a sudden down here,” Terri Akstulewicz, a neighbor, said.
“I’ve got mixed feelings like, I think that it’s really close to our house, so I’m a little worried about the number of people who are going to be coming through,” Terri’s son, Abraham Akstulewicz, added.
While the trail is next to neighbors’ private homes, the sidewalks leading up to it are public.
“Does it go down as what people perceive as their front yard? Yes it does, but this is a public sidewalk for the benefit of all to use,” Kading said.
Right now, people who want to cross over the lake walk on train tracks.
The new bridge will offer a much safer passage.
“I think that bridge is not as safe but this will be a very safe bridge,” Sam Akstulewicz said.
Although neighbors have concerns, some are still optimistic about the impact the bridge will have on the community overall.
“I’m hoping for positive, and yeah just people who want to enjoy being outside,” Terri Akstulewicz said.
The Loop the Lake trail opens on June 23rd.