NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The fight over the "love locks" on Norfolk's Hague pedestrian bridge is now in the hands of a judge.
Five citizens, who claim the hundreds of locks on the bridge are a danger and nuisance, filed a complaint asking that a special jury be convened to consider their removal.
During Monday's hearing, the judge asked two of those citizens who live blocks away from the bridge to testify. The judge said he wanted to hear from them before making a decision to bring in a grand jury.
"[The locks] deface the bridge, make rails hazardous, and there are rusting jagged pieces of metal," said Allen Gregory, a petitioner.
While some see the locks as a symbol of love, neighbors have been asking to remove them since 2015, calling them an eyesore.
"They're ugly," said Gregory.
The city says the locks are neither graffiti nor a safety hazard. They remove the locks only when they are in poor condition, or when they get in the way of maintenance.
"I think it's still fine. It gives it a little culture," said Matt Hurst, a Norfolk resident. "Most cities I've been to, like Philidelphia and DC...they do the same thing."
The judge ultimately said he wants to go down to the bridge and take a look for himself. He could make a decision on a grand jury in the coming days.
If a grand jury is convened, it means the jurors would have to be paid and a special prosecutor would have to be brought in.
The city says that's a lot of effort and money for something they have already investigated several times, and have faith a jury panel would say the same.
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