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Love locks to be cut from Aspen Island bridge

By Alexandra Craig - 3 February 2015 66

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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the National Capital Authority (NCA) has gotten into the spirit by announcing it’s taking bolt cutters to the love locks on Aspen Island’s John Douglas Gordon footbridge.

The NCA says it is taking preventative action now, removing the love locks before any serious damage occurs to the structure of the bridge. The railings aren’t engineered to hold additional weight.

I wrote last year that while not having attached a love lock to a bridge myself (I have a partner, but maybe I’ll do a lovelock with my cats’ names on it), I thought they were pretty cute and a nice idea, so I’m a bit disappointed the NCA is cutting them off. I was of the impression there wasn’t that many love locks on the bridge, so I went down to Aspen Island last night to check it out.

There were about 280 love locks across the whole bridge. This might sound like a lot, but when you actually see it for yourself, the bridge is in no immediate danger to collapsing under the weight of the padlocks.

The NCA said last year that there were no immediate plans to remove the locks, unless they began to interfere with the maintenance schedule, in which case they would be removed.

It doesn’t appear that the locks are interfering with anything at the moment, but rather that the NCA is trying to nip it in the bud early. I understand the need for public safety and all that jazz, but the love locks aren’t even close to being a problem yet. It just seems very party pooper of the NCA to be cutting them off.

Executive Director of the NCA, Helen Badger, said, “Instead of couples attaching pad locks to the Aspen Island footbridge we encourage them to celebrate their relationship by enjoying National Carillon recitals on Aspen Island.”

I understand that they feel the need to provide an alternative for people but attending a Carillon recital probably isn’t really on the mark with the interests of people that want to leave a love lock.

Evelyn Moon and her husband left a love lock on the bridge in April 2014 after they were married on Aspen Island. Evelyn said that her first reaction to hearing her lovelock would be cut off was one of sadness.

“It’s a bridge of love and happiness, so many fond moments and memories for people at one of the best times in their lives,” she said.

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A Facebook post exploded last night with many people expressing annoyance and sadness at their love locks being removed from the bridge, with some pledging to return to the bridge this week to retrieve their lock. Others are unable to take their lock back after the key was thrown into Lake Burley Griffin.

Josie Ponticello and her husband (pictured above) left a lock on the bridge a year ago when they were married, but live four hours away from Canberra and can’t retrieve their lock in time.

The love locks will be removed from 6 February 2015, and an ongoing program will be put in place to remove any lovelocks that may appear in the future.

Update: The National Capital Authority says that if couples have broken from tradition and retained the key, they have until Friday 6 February to remove the locks themselves. On Friday, cutting the padlocks off structures on National Land will result in “irreparable damage to the padlocks”.

What’s Your opinion?


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66 Responses to
Love locks to be cut from Aspen Island bridge
dungfungus 10:25 am 04 Feb 15

Alexandra Craig said :

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Good. If people want to adorn themselves with tattoos, fine, but when they start adorning bridges with locks as testament to their undying love that will most likely die within 24 months, it’s time for the bolt cutters.

Destroyed padlocks have high value as scrap metal. Who gets the proceeds of this little earner?

Yup. The NCA does. They’ve said they won’t let anyone come and pick up their lovelocks once they’ve been cut off because they’ll be “damaged”. Sure, I’m sure they’ll have some degree of damage to them but I don’t think they’re going to be shredded up beyond recognition. Sounds to me like the NCA just can’t be bothered co-ordinating the task of returning lovelocks to their owners.

You cant’ shred a padlock. They are melted down.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 10:22 am 04 Feb 15

Alexandra Craig said :

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Good. If people want to adorn themselves with tattoos, fine, but when they start adorning bridges with locks as testament to their undying love that will most likely die within 24 months, it’s time for the bolt cutters.

Destroyed padlocks have high value as scrap metal. Who gets the proceeds of this little earner?

Yup. The NCA does. They’ve said they won’t let anyone come and pick up their lovelocks once they’ve been cut off because they’ll be “damaged”. Sure, I’m sure they’ll have some degree of damage to them but I don’t think they’re going to be shredded up beyond recognition. Sounds to me like the NCA just can’t be bothered co-ordinating the task of returning lovelocks to their owners.

Surely owners of lovelocks can come and retrieve them if they really want them? I’d guess that a lot of people aren’t that concerned. If it were me, I’d go and get it and put it somewhere else.

Alexandra Craig 10:18 am 04 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

Postalgeek said :

Good. If people want to adorn themselves with tattoos, fine, but when they start adorning bridges with locks as testament to their undying love that will most likely die within 24 months, it’s time for the bolt cutters.

Destroyed padlocks have high value as scrap metal. Who gets the proceeds of this little earner?

Yup. The NCA does. They’ve said they won’t let anyone come and pick up their lovelocks once they’ve been cut off because they’ll be “damaged”. Sure, I’m sure they’ll have some degree of damage to them but I don’t think they’re going to be shredded up beyond recognition. Sounds to me like the NCA just can’t be bothered co-ordinating the task of returning lovelocks to their owners.

dungfungus 11:06 pm 03 Feb 15

watto23 said :

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

Dungfungus approves of this action.

Having said that, how about the NCA, while they are still “hot”, moves across the lake and cleans up the Old Parliament House free camping ground?
Everywhere else in the Parliamentary triangle, it costs big bucks to park now. Why should some people be exempted?

The only powers they have with that right now is booking the illegally parked cars which they race out to do quite often. Sooner they get rid of it and the aboriginal embassy the better. Note I’m happy for the aboriginal embassy to occupy a building or something somewhere, but it seems they don’t like that idea.

“….I’m happy for the aboriginal embassy to occupy a building or something somewhere…”
National Arboretum?
They could make money by having smoking ceremonies every time a royal or government dignitary plants a symbolic tree.
Can’t get more Australian than that.

dungfungus 10:16 pm 03 Feb 15

Postalgeek said :

Good. If people want to adorn themselves with tattoos, fine, but when they start adorning bridges with locks as testament to their undying love that will most likely die within 24 months, it’s time for the bolt cutters.

Destroyed padlocks have high value as scrap metal. Who gets the proceeds of this little earner?

Postalgeek 7:30 pm 03 Feb 15

Good. If people want to adorn themselves with tattoos, fine, but when they start adorning bridges with locks as testament to their undying love that will most likely die within 24 months, it’s time for the bolt cutters.

watto23 4:59 pm 03 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

dungfungus said :

Dungfungus approves of this action.

Having said that, how about the NCA, while they are still “hot”, moves across the lake and cleans up the Old Parliament House free camping ground?
Everywhere else in the Parliamentary triangle, it costs big bucks to park now. Why should some people be exempted?

The only powers they have with that right now is booking the illegally parked cars which they race out to do quite often. Sooner they get rid of it and the aboriginal embassy the better. Note I’m happy for the aboriginal embassy to occupy a building or something somewhere, but it seems they don’t like that idea.

watto23 4:57 pm 03 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

Dungfungus approves of this action.

Don’t look now, but I too agree with Dungfungus and the NCA! Its not even a unique idea and adding padlocks does cause issues in many ways. Its not a “Fun police” type issue.

dungfungus 3:21 pm 03 Feb 15

Dungfungus would also like to see the unsightly SIEV X “memorial” in Weston Park disappear or at the least, re-locate it to the arboretum.
This probably isn’t in the NCA’s territory but it should go anyhow.

Evilomlap 2:15 pm 03 Feb 15

I have no problem with the locks themselves nor any real or perceived damage they may cause to property or hearts, but what is with this social media mentality that exists today that just because other people do something, you doing it too somehow constitutes a grand romantic gesture? I can’t imagine any worse way to express my affections for a partner than to do something that *millions of other people have done*. Get off facebook and try some originality.

dungfungus 2:14 pm 03 Feb 15

dungfungus said :

Dungfungus approves of this action.

Having said that, how about the NCA, while they are still “hot”, moves across the lake and cleans up the Old Parliament House free camping ground?
Everywhere else in the Parliamentary triangle, it costs big bucks to park now. Why should some people be exempted?

Rollersk8r 1:56 pm 03 Feb 15

100% agree with removing them. It’s litter and graffiti at the same time, which someone needs to be paid to clean up at some point. A ring on a finger is a bit more traditional and practical than a lock on a bridge.

Acton 1:26 pm 03 Feb 15

YES, I also support the removal of these padlocks. Do nothing about this fad and our bridges become overwhelmed with the things. Similar action had to be taken in Paris:

http://nolovelocks.com/2014/08/14/paris-city-hall-takes-a-stand-no-more-love-locks/

dungfungus 12:02 pm 03 Feb 15

Dungfungus approves of this action.

Bennop 11:54 am 03 Feb 15

Sure, its all party pooper of then NCA, until the rust from the locks damages the bridge itself and results in substantial rebuild to to tune of 100s of thousands of the taxpayers purse.

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