Sunday, August 8, 2010
London Bridge - Lake Havasu, Arizona
In 1962, London Bridge was falling down. Built in 1831, the bridge couldn't handle the ever-increasing flow of traffic across the Thames River. The British government decided to put the bridge up for sale, and Robert McCulloch, Founder of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and Chairman of McCulloch Oil Corporation, submitted the winning bid of $2,460,000.
The bridge was dismantled, and each stone was numbered. Everything was shipped 10,000 miles to Long Beach, California, and then trucked to Lake Havasu City. Reconstruction began on September 23, 1968, with a ceremony including the Lord Mayor of London, who laid the cornerstone. On October 10, 1971, the bridge was dedicated.
London Bridge crosses a narrow boating channel that connects with Thompson Bay on the Arizona side of Lake Havasu. Prior to the arrival of London Bridge, the land upon which the bridge was placed was a peninsula. A large dredge was used to carve a one-mile channel, removing over two million cubic yards of rock and earth in the construction phase. Water was then diverted from the lake, under the bridge and then back into the lake through Thompson Bay. On the Google Map aerial view, the pushpin marked "A" is the London Bridge Resort, and just to the left is McCulloch Boulevard and the location of London Bridge.
To reach the bridge from I-40 we recommend going south on Arizona Highway 95, then turn left (east) on Mesquite Avenue. Turn right (south) on Lake Havasu Avenue N. and then right again on McCulloch Boulevard N. to drive over the bridge.