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Love Locks Are Weighing Down The Brooklyn Bridge

New York City's Department of Transportation cut 450 locks from the bridge on Monday. Love's labour's lost.

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New York officials cut 450 "love locks" off the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday as the city became the latest to grapple with the weighty issue.

DOT removed 450 #BrooklynBridge #LoveLocks today; that's another 75lbs of waste headed to landfill :( #NoLoveLocks!

The cutesy sentiments weighed in at 75 pounds, according to the Department of Transportation, creating a potential hazard on the more than 200-year-old historic landmark.

The department has made cutting down locks a part of its weekly maintenance; since 2013 officials estimate they've removed more than 16,000 of them.

A department spokesperson asked visitors to refrain from leaving anything behind on city bridges to help keep them in good repair.

"We remove locks from the bridge as part of our routine maintenance, but we strongly discourage visitors from leaving locks on our bridges as it poses a danger to the infrastructure and the cars traveling below," the official said.

The tradition of couples to become "locked in love" has caused trouble in Paris, where it began.

Francois Mori / AP

Last summer, a chunk of fencing on the Pont des Arts bridge weighed down by thousands of locks came crashing down into the Seine. Paris has began replacing the lock-covered mesh with glass panels.

A No Love Locks petition garnered more than 10,000 signatures. "Free your love. Save our bridges," organizers of the campaign said.

Paris' deputy mayor told NBC News that the city was working to end the tradition without discouraging the tourists who have come to love it.

"We don't want the love locks on the bridge. It's not very beautiful and it is dangerous," Bruno Julliard told NBC. "We want [people] to come to Paris, but we don't want them to put love locks. There are so many other ways to say 'I love you' — maybe with SMS or with email."

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Claudia Koerner is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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