The Augusta Canal might be joining the ranks of the world’s most romantic waterways.
Its historic headgates footbridge is gaining fame as a place where lovers affix inscribed padlocks to the iron fence rails, then throw the key into the water to seal their commitment.
“This is the first I’ve heard of this,” said Tom Wiedmeier, the director of the Augusta Utilities Department, which operates the headgates.
Dayton Sherrouse, the executive director of the Augusta Canal Authority, has dealt with graffiti and other issues over the years.
“First I have heard of the padlocks, though,” he said.
The practice is a time-honored ritual in Paris, where the Pont de l’Archeveche Bridge over the Seine is clad with tens of thousands of “love locks.”
Their presence along the Seine has stirred debate over whether they should be classified as art, litter or outright vandalism. But usually they remain, to the delight of tourists.
Similar traditions have also been
adopted along Rome’s famous Ponte Milvio bridge and the Ponte Vechio Bridge in Florence.