The bottom line is, it could be a problem at some point in the future, but it’s not a problem now.”Chief of Police Kenny Culpepper
CULLMAN – Cullman’s “lovelock” phenomenon has been on the rise this week. Local couples have attached around forty locks to the pedestrian bridge across from The Vine Cellar and Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que that connects 1st Ave SE to 1st Ave SW. The locks often have a couple’s initials inscribed on them to symbolize the pair’s permanent love for one another.
The first coverage of this story brought concerned citizens out on social media to explain the risks of placing the locks on structures. For example, the railing of Paris' Pont des Arts Bridge collapsed due to the added weight.
The lock count on the Pont des Art was estimated to be 400-700,000. The city has begun to remedy the situation by replacing some of the panels on the bridge with glass that prevents couples from being able to attach locks.
The estimated weight of each lock-encumbered panel that was removed was over 1,500 lbs.
As of right now, the locks on Cullman’s pedestrian bridge have yet to pose a major problem.
“The bottom line is, it could be a problem at some point in the future, but it is not a problem now,” says Chief of Police Kenny Culpepper. The placement of the locks also plays a role as to whether they will be a destructive force.
In Paris, the locks on the Pont des Arts Bridge were placed directly on the structures railing.
“These locks are attached to chain link, so if at some point in the future there were enough locks attached to where the chain link was sagging, to where we thought it might be a danger, then we would probably have to remove the locks,” continued Chief Culpepper.
For now, citizens do not have to fear legal action as a result of placing a lock on the bridge. Only in the event that the locks begin to cause damage and so become expressively prohibited will local law enforcement begin to consider this an act of vandalism.
“It’s kind of a neat idea, but it may not be too practical if it reaches a point to where it’s a safety consideration or causing damage to the bridge,” explained Chief Culpepper “Right now it’s not a problem, but if it becomes a problem, then we’ll just remove them and hope that it doesn’t break the love between the two people who put the lock on the gate.”