London Bridge, Arizona

Say somebody offers you a second hand bridge, do you buy it?  If you’re an American millionaire wanting to add an interesting attraction to a new development, then you may decide to take the chance.

London Bridge was designed by engineer John Rennie to cross the River Thames, and work started on it in 1824.   It took seven years to build, and was opened in 1831.  The City of London began to grow and prosper, and by 1967 the bridge needed replacing as it could no longer adequately cope with the increased traffic.

It was in that year that the Common Council of the City of London placed the bridge on the market and began to look for potential buyers. On 18 April 1968, Rennie’s bridge was sold to the American entrepreneur Robert P. McCulloch of McCulloch Oil for $2,460,000. When casting his bid for the bridge, McCulloch doubled the estimated cost of dismantling the structure, which was $1.2 million, bringing the price to $2.4 million. He then added on $60,000, a thousand dollars for each year of his age at the time he estimated the bridge would be raised in Arizona. His gesture earned him the winning bid.

There is speculation that Mr McCulloch though he was buying the more famous Tower Bridge, but then if you are going to pay over $2 million for a bridge you’re not really going to tell the world that you’ve made a slight mistake.

As the bridge was taken apart, each piece was numbered to aid re-assembly. The bridge was reconstructed in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and re-dedicated on 10 October 1971. The reconstruction of Rennie’s London Bridge spans the Bridgewater Channel canal that leads from Lake Havasu to Thomson Bay. According to the statistics, Rennie’s London Bridge has become Arizona’s second-biggest tourist attraction, after the Grand Canyon.     

Dubbed the “Personal Watercraft Capital of the World,” Lake Havasu City sits on the shores of the Colorado River and is one of the Southwest’s premier locations for water sports.  It is now one of the Southwest’s premier locations for water sports, including wakeboarding, waterskiing, jet skiing, swimming and boating of all kinds.

Although known for its waterfront activities, Lake Havasu City also boasts an abundance of land excursions. You can hike or mountain bike on the numerous trails, go off-roading in a jeep or ATV and take a break at one of the numerous Arizona golf courses. Many visitors prefer to see the Lake Havasu sights from above by means of parasailing and hot air balloon rides. You can also book a boat, ferry, kayak, jeep or walking tour of the area from providers in Lake Havasu City.

Or, you can simply walk across Rennie’s London Bridge and wonder why it was put there.

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