Since 1971, Lake Havasu City, Arizona has been the new home of the London Bridge.
In 1962, it was discovered that the London Bridge was "falling down," sinking into the Thames because it was not adequate for the increase in traffic. The City of London decided to put the 130-year old bridge up for auction, and construct a new one in its place.
Robert P. McCulloch, founder of Lake Havasu City, AZ, and Chairman of McCulloch Oil Corporation, submitted the winning bid for $2,460,000 in 1968. McCulloch spent another $7million to move the London Bridge to Lake Havasu City which took a total of three years. The bridge was shipped by boat 10,000 miles to Long Beach, California. From there, it was trucked to Lake Havasu City where it was stored in seven-acre fenced storage compound. On September 23, 1968, the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Gilbert Inglefield, laid the corner stone. Robert Beresfornd, a civil engineer from Nottingham, England was in charge of the reconstruction of the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City. As a guideline, he had a copy of the original plans drawn by John Rennie. During the reconstruction, Mr. Beresford drew sketches of the bridge in different phases of construction. There are a limited number of these prints. When Mr. Beresford returned to England, he gave exclusive right to D & P Antique in Lake Havasu City to sell these prints. Each piece of the granite bridge was marked with four numbers: the first indicated which arch span; the second noted which row of stones; and the last two indicated which position in that row. It was discovered while dismantling the Bridge, that there were code numbers on each stone when it was originally built: Rennie must have used the same system when the sections left the quarries. Construction of a new bridge over the River Thames coincided with the dismantling of the old London Bridge. The new bridge was built directly over the old bridge. This new construction was managed in such a way so that London never lost one day of traffic while transferring from the old bridge to the new one. Reconstructing the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City was done in the same manner as the Egyptians built pyramids. Sand mounds beneath each arch were carefully formed to the profile of the original bridge arches, serving the same function as molds. When work was completed the sand was removed. A one-mile channel was dredged and water was diverted from the lake, under the Bridge, then back into the lake. The reconstructed London Bridge was dedicated in Lake Havasu City on October 10, 1971 with many British and Arizona officials participating in this event that drew 50,000 spectators.
- Larry & Teddy
- Cedar, Leelanau County, Michigan (near Traverse City), United States
- I am a 76 year old (born 7/4/1937) retired Public Radio Engineer from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Happily married to the love of my life, Teddy (nee Teddy Schlueter). Teddy is a retired Medical Records Clerk from Theda Clark Hospital in Neenah, Wisconsin. Two children, Michael and Lon. Lon passed away in 1994. Michael is married to his wonderful wife, Toni and lives in Appleton, Wisconsin. For photos click on link below or visit our photo site http://www.flickr.com/photos/igboo NOTE: Click on photos for full-size images.