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NYC Bridge Crews Loathe Love Locks

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

More items for Health & Safety

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Hooking padlocks to the Brooklyn Bridge may be the latest romantic must for the lovestruck, but it’s become a big safety and corrosion headache for transportation officials.

"Love locking"—in which couples etch their names on a padlock, secure it to the bridge, then toss the key in the water—has become increasingly popular around the world, but the New York City Department of Transportation says it needs to stop.

love locks
Wikimedia Commons / ZhuPix

They may be romantic, but the locks are causing corrosion and safety concerns on the Brooklyn Bridge.

"There has been a real increase, and we're very, very concerned about them, and we remove them regularly," Polly Trottenberg, the city's DOT Commissioner, told WABC-TV.

The Brooklyn Bridge, which opened in 1883, is undergoing rehabilitation and repainting work. Removing the locks is adding to the $500 million cost, officials say.

Love Lock-Out

The NYC DOT currently spends millions each year to remove graffiti from the bridge, and similar efforts are now necessary to remove the locks, according to the Brooklyn Bridge's Facebook page.

"Please, New Yorkers and tourists, don't put locks on the bridge, don't write graffiti on the bridge," said Trottenberg. "We know it's a romantic gesture, but it's not good for our bridges."

WABC-TV reported that the city had paid to remove 3,000 locks since last fall, plus the cost of repairs and repainting.

Brooklyn Bridge
Facebook / Brooklyn Bridge

Bridge workers have removed 3,000 locks since last fall, according to WABC-TV.

The locks can also be a safety issue for workers and motorists on the lower deck; they weigh down and damage guardrails and have fallen on passing cars.

"The Brooklyn Bridge is a national and international icon and an officially designated NYC Landmark. We need the public to treat the bridge with the respect it deserves," the bridge's rehabilitation project team posted on Facebook.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Department of Transportation (DOT); Graffiti removal; Maintenance coating work; Rehabilitation/Repair; Trends

Comment from Mark Lewis, (5/28/2014, 11:13 AM)

I always loved corrosion. Now I learn that love can cause corrosion.

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