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Why Is London Bridge in Arizona? The Surprising Story Behind the Iconic Landmark

London Bridge is a well-known bridge that crosses the River Thames in London, England. However, it might surprise you to learn that there is another London Bridge located in Arizona. Yes, you read that right! The original London Bridge was actually dismantled and transported to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where it was reconstructed and now serves as a popular tourist attraction.

So, how did the London Bridge end up in Arizona? Well, in the 1960s, the City of London realized that the original London Bridge was sinking into the Thames and needed to be replaced. Instead of simply demolishing the bridge, they decided to sell it to an American entrepreneur named Robert P. McCulloch. McCulloch saw an opportunity to bring a piece of London to the United States and purchased the bridge for $2.46 million.

Historical Context of London Bridge

London Bridge is a historic structure that has a fascinating story behind it. As I researched the history of this iconic bridge, I discovered that it has a long and interesting past that dates back to the 19th century.

In 1831, the original London Bridge was deemed unsafe and in need of replacement. It was decided that a new bridge would be built, and construction began in 1824. The new bridge was designed by John Rennie and completed in 1831.

The bridge served as a vital transportation link for over a century, but by the 1960s, it was no longer able to handle the traffic demands of the growing city. In 1967, the decision was made to replace the bridge with a new, modern structure.

But instead of demolishing the old bridge, it was sold to an American businessman named Robert P. McCulloch. McCulloch had recently purchased a large piece of land in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and he saw the opportunity to create a tourist attraction by bringing the London Bridge to the United States.

In 1968, the bridge was dismantled and shipped to Arizona, where it was reconstructed over a man-made canal in Lake Havasu City. The project took three years to complete, and the new London Bridge was officially opened to the public on October 10, 1971.

Today, the London Bridge is a popular tourist attraction in Arizona, drawing visitors from all over the world who come to see this iconic piece of history in a new setting.

Why London Bridge Was Sold

When I first heard that London Bridge was in Arizona, I was surprised. How did a bridge from London end up in the desert? As I dug deeper, I found out that the bridge was actually sold to the city of Lake Havasu in 1968.

So why was London Bridge sold in the first place? The answer is simple: the bridge was sinking. After enduring centuries of wear and tear, the bridge was no longer stable enough to support the increasing traffic of modern London. The city needed a new bridge, but they couldn’t just tear down the old one. London Bridge is a historic landmark that has been an iconic symbol of the city for centuries.

Instead, the city decided to sell the bridge to the highest bidder. Robert P. McCulloch, an American entrepreneur, bought the bridge for $2.46 million. He had the bridge dismantled, stone by stone, and shipped to Lake Havasu in Arizona. There, the bridge was reassembled and opened to the public in 1971.

McCulloch’s decision to buy London Bridge was a smart one. It has become a major tourist attraction for the city of Lake Havasu, drawing millions of visitors each year. The bridge has also become a symbol of the close ties between the United States and the United Kingdom.

In conclusion, London Bridge was sold because it had become too unstable to support modern traffic in London. Robert P. McCulloch saw an opportunity to bring a piece of history to his city, and he seized it. Today, London Bridge stands as a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of those who brought it to Lake Havasu.



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