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Locks on bridge cause concern - KOAM TV 7

Locks on bridge cause concern

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

An Oronogo woman celebrated her boyfriend's birthday by purchasing a lock with their initials written on it and locking it on to the chain link fence on the new 20th Street overpass bridge.

Tuesday, 20-year-old Josie Richardson and her father went to take the lock down after concerns by the city that the locks are a hazard.

"It just kind of signifies the love you have together, you place your lock on there together as a couple, then you throw your key over so the love doesn't ever get broken," Richardson said.

It's a trend in Paris at the "love lock bridge" where lovers bring locks and toss the key over the bridge. Around six locks appeared on the 20th Street overpass bridge. The city asked the locks to be taken down.

"One, it's basically right-of-way property and it's considered abandoned property once it's there. Because we don't know who it belongs to, and we can't allow it to stay there either. We can't allow it to stay there because of the structural impact on the bridge itself," Nick Heatherly, director of public works said.

Richardson acknowledges the city's concerns, but wants to be heard. She asked to be put on the city council agenda for Tuesday's meeting.

"I can understand them not wanting people to throw the keys over as it has the railroad underneath it so that would cause a safety hazard for them driving on the railroad. This is gonna be something that brings us all together," Richardson said.

Heatherly said any added material to structures like bridges can cause hazards, even resurfacing materials like asphalt.

"Would one or two locks have a big impact on that? No. But we can't allow it to grow and enlarge in weight because the bridge and its elements that they're attaching to are just not made to withstand that kind of load," Heatherly said.

For now, Richardson has some alternative ideas for locations for a love lock bridge of sorts. She will present them Tuesday evening.

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