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Crews Remove 11,000 Love Locks From Roberto Clemente Bridge

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Thousands of love stories locked on the Roberto Clemente Bridge are now removed.

Workers said it was a necessary part of the bridge's rehab and 11,000 "love locks" are coming to an end. However, those love stories tied to them will live on forever.

As the $34 million worth of work on the bridge is raming up, crews have removed the iconic pieces of the bridge.

roberto clemente bridge locks
(Photo: KDKA)

"We're out here today cutting the love locks of the sixth street Roberto Clemente bridge," said Stephen Shanley, Public Works Director.

He said they're removing them because the handrails they're locked on need to be cleaned and repainted. The love they symbolize will live on.

"Ultimately turn into sculptural material to tell a new story and also represent the original story and to try to represent the hopes and dreams of all of the folks who have put their time and energy to attaching locks to the bridge," said Tim Kaulen, Industrial Arts Workshop.

Kaulen runs the Industrial Arts Workshop in Hazelwood where the locks are going to be donated. He's leading a group of high schoolers who are planning to turn these love locks into a new art form.

He does, however, admit they're not exactly sure what that is just yet.

"Responsibility to try to represent the ideas of so many people who we don't really know when we don't know the individuals who came to the bridge to make a small statement of their of their hopes and ideas with some responsibility to try to interpret that," said Kaulen.

Once the restoration of the bridge is done, will new locks be there?

"We encourage people not to put locks back on the bridge," said Shanley. "They are damaging the paint, but I'll leave it at that."

Instead, Shanley said let the new sculpture show your love to Pittsburgh and although Kaulen's not sure how long the project will take, he said when it comes to art, just like love, you can't force it.

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