News 12 at 6 o' clock/ August 3, 2013
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga.--You may have heard of the famous "love lock" bridges scattered around Europe. Lovers sign a padlock, attach it to the bridge, and throw the key into the water. But, you don't have to travel across the big pond anymore to be a part of the romance. The tradition has made it all the way to Columbia County.
Over the past couple of weeks, locks have started popping up along the pedestrian bridge at the headgates to the Augusta canal.
"I think it's terrific. I think it will catch on," that from Buck who is visiting Augusta from Chicago. He thinks the 30 or 40 something locks there now will definitely multiply.
He says, "I know human beings. When they see something like that, it will perpetuate."
And the initials and dates, lovingly etched into the locks along the canal have just recently started to pop up, without any fanfare, as if the tradition started overnight. It's something Buck thinks adds to the nostalgia of it all.
"Grass roots and word of mouth is probably better than advertising, because people will hear about and say,'What is that?' And add to it or whatever, but I think it's a great idea."
For now, the love locks are there for everyone to see, but the question is, will they be allowed to stay?
"You know, if the county doesn't mind, I think it's a great idea," Buck says.
We asked Tom Weidemeir with the Augusta Utilities Department about the locks, and he says, their concern is mainly with the water quality. Since this isn't affecting the water or causing any problems, they don't really mind the locks.
We also spoke with Barry Smith with the Augusta Recreation Department who says, they haven't received any complaints about the locks, and they don't seem to be causing any harm. He actually thinks it may turn into a neat tradition.
We are still waiting to hear back from the Augusta Canal Authority, but right now, it seems like the love bridge has the green light.