How the London Bridge was Moved
During the 1960s, officials in England faced a devastating incident; the infamous London Bridge was falling and lacked an effective solution.
The 1,000-foot Bridge standing tall for more than 130 years in the beautiful city of London had lived through the terrible World War II. However, modern-day traffic was causing it to start sinking into the River Thames. Slowly, but surely, the London Bridge was disappearing at the rate of an inch per eight years.
But how did this Bridge reach Arizona, and what’s the story behind this incredible bridge? Let’s find out how the London Bridge was before it reached the other end of the world, i.e., America:
A Brief History of London Bridge
History tells us that London Bridge had existed for over 2,000 years when the Romans built the first London Bridge’ in 43 A.D. The Romans built a temporary pontoon bridge from planks laying atop ferry and anchored boats.
Records show that the London Bridge was rebuilt several times, including in 984, 1014, 1176, 1209, 1577, and 1628.
After that, in 1825, a committee was hired to rebuild the bridge with stone. Now the bridge boasted five arches and was 928 feet long and 49 feet wide. Unfortunately, by 1962 it was found that London Bridge was sinking into the river.
How was the Bridge Moved to America?
Once officials learned that the London Bridge was sinking into the River Thames due to modern-day vehicle traffic. Manufacturers in the olden time aimed to facilitate horse-and-buggy traffic only, thus why by 1962, it was clear that renovations were necessary.
However, after much thought and analysis, experts concluded that renovations were impractical and the City of London required a broader, much more car-friendly replacement. The stunning 19th-century arch boating layers of granite were no longer worth keeping. Thus it should be replaced.
However, the city councilor, Ivan Luckin’s discussion with his colleagues, led to an alternative conclusion; instead of sending the bridge to the junkyard, they could sell it to the U.S. Thus, in 1968, he went across the globe to market the stunning bridge to prospective buyers.
Simultaneously, McCulloch had recently received the majority of land in Arizona for free under the condition that he would develop the state into a spectacular commercial hub. And McCulloch was facing one problem; the state was miles away from major roads and was super hot, meaning few people were willing to visit or stay there.
Upon hearing that the London bridge was on the market, McCulloch got the fantastic idea to purchase and renovate the bridge—here in Arizona. After much discussion, he successfully bid the bridge for a staggering $2.5 million and kick-started one of the strangest cross-continental business deals in the world.
Of course, builders couldn’t move the whole bridge across an ocean. Therefore, they moved the stone exterior from London to Arizona, after which a brand new concrete framework was built around the London Bridge.