Couples display locks of love on Lake Havasu City bridge

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (AP) -- Love has locked onto Lake Havasu City's landmark London Bridge.

Padlocks have been popping up on a metal fence at the bridge's southeast entrance for the past few years, according to managers of the nearby London Bridge Resort. Couples put up the locks and throw away the key - usually in the Bridgewater Channel - to symbolize their unbreakable bond. Many of the locks are engraved with couples' names, initials and even messages.

"It just happened organically," resort general manager Cal Sheehy said. "In just the last two years it's grown. There was never a promotion or idea. From there it just kind of grew into what's there now."

Sheehy said he only became aware of the display after an employee informed him, according to the Today's News-Herald.

"They put it on the gate then they throw the key into the channel and it symbolizes love and commitment," he said.

He has yet to witness someone adding to the "love locks."

A Lake Havasu City couple who wed in October 2013 said they believe they were the first to attach a "love lock" to the bridge. Andrew and Josie Branchik said there were no other locks at the time. But they didn't imagine starting a trend.

"It just symbolizes our love," Andrew Branchik said. "It will always be a keepsake for us and we hope it will be there forever."

Andrew Branchik said they got the idea after his wife visited the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris.

The pedestrian bridge, which crosses the Seine, is well-known for the thousands of locks submitted by couples to showcase their devotion. But there, the bridge is known as both a symbol and an eyesore. Last June, the weight of love became too much when a chunk of fencing collapsed. The city installed glass panels last September in the hope of keeping anymore locks from springing up.

In Lake Havasu City, there are no plans to put the growing display on lockdown. The small section of fencing belongs to the resort, Sheehy said. But he said they won't be removed since the fence does not require much upkeep.

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Information from: Today's News-Herald, http://www.havasunews.com

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