Lake Havasu Tourist Guide

Lake Havasu Arizona

London Bridge- Tall and Glorious.
Now In Lake Havasu City Arizona.

London Bridge in 1850s
London Bridge in 1850s
London Bridge in Lake Havasu
London Bridge in Lake Havasu

London Bridge, one of the most famous bridges in the entire world, has had a long history of change and transformation. For almost 2,000 years, a London Bridge has spanned across the River Thames in London, providing easy access for thousands of travelers. Now, a London Bridge also stands on American soil.

On September 23, 1968, Lake Havasu City, Arizona was the place where the childhood song “London Bridge Is Falling Down” would take on new meaning to those who were there to witness the magical transformation of a bridge that was truly falling down to one that was standing stately and erect waiting for bustling traffic to begin anew.

Over one hundred thousand people, including British and American dignitaries, witnessed this once in a lifetime moment involving a bridge with more lives than any before it. London Bridge had been rebuilt several times already due to fires, the pull of tidal currents, and heavy use. The placing of the first cornerstone in Lake Havasu City Arizona was the beginning of its reconstruction.

When entrepreneur, Robert McCulloch, first began to create his planned community of Lake Havasu City, he realized an exciting opportunity of a lifetime. Virtually untouched by modern man, the area around Lake Havasu was uncharted territory just waiting for a magical transformation.

After years of heavy traffic, London Bridge on the River Thames had begun to collapse. When the British government arrived upon the clever decision to sell their collapsing “London Bridge” in order to finance the construction of a new bridge, McCulloch knew exactly what that transformation would be.

Interestingly enough, many people laughed with amusement when the founder of Lake Havasu City, Robert McCulloch, placed the winning bid of $2,460,00 for the London Bridge. Rumors suggested that bidders mistakenly thought the auction was for the architecturally enchanting Tower Bridge a short distance from the London Bridge.

However, at the time, Lake Havasu City was a small southwestern town in Arizona lacking in notoriety. London Bridge brought a new sense of life and vitality to this small town by creating American History with a small bit of English History.

Dismantling the bridge was a monumental task. Each stone was carefully removed, labeled, and packed for shipping. Transported over three years and about 10,000 miles to Long Beach, California, the bridge was trucked the rest of the way to Lake Havasu City. Seven and a half million dollars had already been invested in this stage of the transformation.

The strong, granite stones were reassembled like so many intricate pieces in a jigsaw puzzle using code numbers. The numbers had been placed upon each stone detailing exactly in which of the five arch spans, row, and position within the row the stone belonged. Imagine being able to see a bridge built upon huge mounds of sand and dirt with no water in sight. Eventually, in August 1971, when the bridge was completed, a mile-long channel was created under the arches of the bridge to hold crystal blue water from Havasu Lake.

On October 10, 1971, a grand dedication of the bridge with all the elaborate details brought global attention to Lake Havasu. Today, it still catches the eye of many a tourist. A bit of Old London comes alive in Lake Havasu City every year as the townspeople celebrate their annual London Bridge Days with an exciting array of festivities.

To be one of the first to step onto the bridge and walk across it created a historic moment unlike any other. The purchase of the London Bridge created its title of “The World’s Largest Antique Ever Sold.”


Lake Havasu Articles of Interest

Fishing Lake Havasu
The Natural Beauty of Lake Havasu City
London Bridge - Tall & Glorious

This page was last modified on 15 March 2012 at 09:54
Lake Havasu City Arizona