July 13th, 2018
In recent years, a trend has occurred on the walkway bridge over Wawayanda Creek. Those willing to express their eternal love to one another place an engraved lock onto the red railings of the iconic walk-bridge and then toss their key into the stream below. While a touching sentiment, the Village of Warwick has other concerns that take priority. Should this trend be allowed to proliferate, there will be consequences that can compromise the integrity of the structure.
In 2008, the movement took off in Paris and nearly a million padlocks ended up on the railings of the Pont des Arts bridge by 2015. This seemingly harmless act resulted in several collapses and raised strong concerns over the unnecessary weight which totaled nearly forty-five tons; four times the weight limit of the bridge itself. The local council finally ordered a removal of the padlocks and exercised measures to prevent it from happening again. In addition to the added weight, the locks can cause deformation, deterioration, and rusting of the railings thus reducing the lifespan of the bridge and increasing the number of repairs, which in turn becomes expensive. For example, just to remove padlocks from the Brooklyn Bridge, it costs NYC an average of $100,000 a year, excluding the cost of repairs. NYC has issued fines for such acts in recent years and other cities in various countries have banned it outrightly.
The walk-bridge over the Wawayanda Creek had only a dozen or two locks on its railings in 2015. Now, there are a few hundred and the Village of Warwick wants to prevent future complications, therefore the locks will need to be removed.
Because we appreciate the sentiments of love, we are allowing those who placed a lock, three weeks beginning July 18, 2018 to voluntarily remove them before they are cut off by the Village DPW.
Monday, August 13, 2018 locks that have not been removed will be cut off and held in storage at Village Hall until September 4, 2018 for those who wish to claim them. If locks are not claimed by September 4, 2018 they will be discarded.
It is with a heavy heart that this needs to be done, but the priority is protecting Village property. The good news is that we are looking into alternatives to allow this trend to carry on in a creative and manageable way.