“Love locks” are a sweet sentiment but could cause a problem

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Love locks are showing up along a bridge on the Rivergreenway in Fort Wayne. They’re padlocks attached to the bridge with a note written on them. But the admiring symbolism may cause a problem.

It started out as an act of love but now the locks may actually have to be removed.

“These are memories. These are amazing,” Minmin Oo said. Oo walks the greenway and admires the locks.

The locks showed up on the bridge off Fourth Street about a week ago. It was a sweet idea but it may be an issue. “Showing your love, that it’s locked up, that you can’t get to it, it’s a great thing. The symbolism is great but it’s the sheer fact of the weight coming onto the bridge is a safety issue,” Steve McDaniel said. McDaniel is the deputy director of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department.

McDaniel said too many locks could mean too much weight. Obviously they aren’t there yet, but what started out as two or three last week has now reached 17. 16 are on one side. So the parks and recreation department is keeping an eye on it. “I don’t know when these locks will be removed but at some point were going to end up having to just to make sure – it’s a safety issue.”

The popular bridge with love locks on it in Paris had to have its locks removed. The weight was getting to be too much.

Another problem here is people throwing the keys in the river. McDaniel said depending on how many more locks show up, they’ll likely have to be removed. “That’s not a good thing. People are gone thinking that these are probably here forever,” Oo said.

McDaniel gets it and agreed it’s a great idea. But inspections on the old railroad bridge have shown what it can structurally handle. “It’s not lost upon on us that people want to show their love but there’s got to be a better way of doing it that won’t cause an issue with the bridge.”

A plan for how to remove the locks and what to do with them is still in the works. If you have a lock on the bridge you want back, email the parks department or call 260-427-6000.

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