Townsend, Tenn. (WATE) — A swinging bridge in Kinzel Springs is in danger of damage after a reported increase in locks being placed along the chain link sides.
In a Facebook post, a picture of the locks was shared with a question about the meaning of the locks.
While it appears to be just a few locks right now, this isn’t the first bridge to have concerns with excess locks.
Historically, a bridge in Paris, France, has been famous for being adorned with locks placed by couples as a memento of their love. In the last few years, officials warned tourists to stop putting locks on the bridge after concerns were raised as the weight of the locks caused safety concerns. The locks were eventually removed by authorities.
When it comes to the Kinzel Springs swinging bridge, that concern is even more elevated.
The lack of support for the bridge that makes it intriguing for visitors also is a concerning factor when it comes to the locks. The stability that would support the extra weight and prevent leaning in more common bridge supports is not possible with the design of a swinging bridge.
At the time of the phone interview, Jeff Headrick, Superintendent for the Blount County Highway Department said his department is checking on the bridge.
The bridge was redone a few years ago, according to Headrick. He added that even if the bridge had not been redone, the locks would have still been cut off because of the weight.
When visiting the bridge, as with elsewhere in the Smokies, officials ask that people leave no trace and take only pictures and memories.