A London bridge in the United States

Have you ever thought about building a whole new town in Arizona using real historical monuments from a European country?! Then we have a great example for you. ❗Spoiler alert❗: it is pretty expensive.

The bridge in 1870-1880

In 1962, the engineering team, who took care of the technical condition of the London bridges, discovered that one of them was about to collapse. A 130-year-old bridge no longer carries the daily traffic of thousands of cars. In search of an optimal solution, one of the city council members proposed selling the bridge at auction. This idea all seemed to them stupid, a fact confirmed by an official a few years later. However, due to the lack of other ideas, the proposal was supported and searches for buyers began.

As expected, nothing went well. In March 1968, a few days before the auction ended, the authorities received a lot of requests, but no concrete proposal had yet arisen. Ivan Lukin continued the sale and decided to go to New York, where he spoke about this situation in a press conference, hoping to get an interest in American entrepreneurs. And, as was seen later, the decision was good.
Robert McCulloch, a petroleum industry entrepreneur, noticed this sale in a newspaper. He recently founded a city on the eastern shore of Lake Havasu in Arizona. Land with oil has received it free of charge from the state provided it develops that region.
The entrepreneur tried everything to attract people to his town, Lake Havasu City. He had even funded the construction of the harvesting plant, but he had no luck. Very few people wanted to move to such a hot and dry place. After seeing the bridge in news, he thought of buying it and installing it in Lake Havasu City to attract potential buyers. McCulloch called this idea the most crazy thing ever heard. But the next month the American entrepreneur was in the British capital where he signed the purchase act.

The removal in 1968 © East News

The contract cost was $ 2.5 million, and another 7 million were spent on dismantling, transportation to the United States, and reassembly. The entire process lasted until 1971. The bridge was assembled in Lake Havasu City just as it was in London, each brick being signed.

Interestingly is that in Arizona, the bridge did not make any shores. It was located on the ground between Lake Havasu City and Pittsburgh Point (then the peninsula). After the bridge was installed, the canal construction that had been called Bridgewater began. Thus, Pittsburgh Point became an island, and the London Bridge became the only way to get it.

Rebuilding the bridge in Lake Havasu City in 1971 © East News

Following the inauguration of the bridge, which had ravaged the American media, the number of tourists increased significantly. The number of people who wanted to buy land in Lake Havasu City also grew. The bridge remains the largest antiquarian object ever sold. The London Bridge attracts tens of thousands of tourists every year in the city of Lake Havasu.

The bridge in 2014 © East News

Text by C. Cătălin CREȚU

Source: Go Lake Havasu, Bird in Flight

The Bunget Arts & Culture 2018

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