St. Johns County scraps 'love locks' from bridge walk without warning

For years the display served as a landmark for romantics

SAINT AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Baby, it's over.

A St. Augustine landmark disappeared overnight, leaving locals heartbroken, and scratching their heads. 

Love locks put up over time in Vilano Beach have been taken down, and many are wondering... where did they go? St. Johns County removed the padlocks from the bridge walk, effectively ending the tradition of attaching "love locks" to the bridge. 

For years, visitors have been attaching locks with sentimental messages to the bridge in symbolic acts of affection. 

One woman living in Saint Augustine says she is devastated. 

"I went to go see my lock... and it was gone," Mallory Lindsey said. "I feel like my token of love was stolen from me." 

The bridge carried hundreds of locks. All of them are now gone. 


"For me the lock was a symbol of my relationship. I wear the key to the lock around my neck, to remind me of a moment I will never forget. Now the key has nothing to unlock," Lindsey said.

So where did those locks go? We reached out to Michael Ryan, a spokesman for the county commission, and he says the fence was a safety issue. 

"The bridge is county property. The fence had to be replaced as it was deteriorating and the weight of the locks were creating a safety issue. We could not risk a lock, or the entire fence, falling onto A1A and striking a car or pedestrian," Ryan said. 

We are still waiting to find out where the locks went, and if loved ones can receive them. 

Posts on social media show how much the community loved the locks, and what the display meant to them. 

So my boyfriend takes me to St. Augustine to the Lock heart bridge. He brought two locks and we wrote our names on them...

Posted by Ashley Shantz on Saturday, September 23, 2017


About the Author:

Carianne Luter is an Award-Winning Digital Media and Engagement Manager for News4Jax and has worked at Channel 4 since December 2015. She won "Best Social Media Engagement Strategy" during the Local Media Association 2022 Digital Innovation Awards. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a communication degree.