(Neenah) WFRV The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau has awarded a $50,000 grant to the City of Neenah for a 360-foot bridge that will connect Herb & Dolly Smith Park with Arrowhead Park. The grant comes from the Bureau's Tourism Development Fund.
"Improved visitor access to our waterways and trails has been a priority for the Bureau," said Cheryl Zaug Casey, chair of the Bureau's Board of Directors. "The Bureau has funded similar tourism-oriented trail projects in the past, including the Fox Cities Trestle Bridge and two trail bridges in Grand Chute, and all have been popular amenities with visitors to the area."
The proposed 360-foot trestle bridge crosses the Neenah Slough. It will be located on a stretch of trail that provides public access to 3,000 feet of shoreline and makes it possible for a visitor in downtown Neenah to walk, run or bike safely to the Fox Cities Trestle Bridge across Little Lake Buttes des Morts.
Eileen McCoy, Director of Parks and Recreation said the City of Neenah is very excited about the grant. "We have been looking forward to creating park space along the shore of Little Lake Butte des Morts, but one of the biggest obstacles was getting park visitors across the Neenah Slough. The partnership with the Convention and Visitors Bureau to build the trestle bridge solves that problem."
The trestle bridge will be designed to match the Fox Cities Trestle Bridge. It is slated to be complete in the fall of 2012 as part of a larger trail project that will run along North Lake Street from the City of Neenah to Fritse Park in the Town of Menasha.
"The trestle bridge is one element of the $650,000 Herb & Dolly Smith Park project. The trestle bridge element will cost $120,900. The park will include restrooms, a picnic shelter, a fishing platform and the area's only handicapped accessible canoe/kayak launch," commented McCoy.
Since its inception in 1986, the Bureau has made more than $6.5 million in grants through its Tourism Development Grant program. Grants have ranged between $2,500 and $1,000,000.
Visitor spending in the Fox Cities was slightly less than $363.5 million in 2010. The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates that this direct spending created 5,613 jobs and $101.93 million in income for Fox Cities Residents.