London Bridge: Alive and Well in Arizona
LAKE HAVASU CITY, ARIZONA
In 1962, London Bridge was falling down. Built in 1831, the bridge couldn't handle the ever-increasing flow of traffic across the Thames River. The British government decided to put the bridge up for sale, and Robert McCulloch, Founder of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and Chairman of McCulloch Oil Corporation, submitted the winning bid of $2,460,000.
The bridge was dismantled, and each stone was numbered. Everything was shipped 10,000 miles to Long Beach, California, and then trucked to Lake Havasu City. Reconstruction began on September 23, 1968, with a ceremony including the Lord Mayor of London, who laid the cornerstone. On October 10, 1971, the bridge was dedicated.
London Bridge crosses a narrow boating channel that connects with Thompson Bay on the Arizona side of Lake Havasu. Prior to the arrival of London Bridge, the land upon which the bridge was placed was a peninsula. A large dredge was used to carve a one-mile channel, removing over two million cubic yards of rock and earth in the construction phase. Water was then diverted from the lake, under the bridge and then back into the lake through Thompson Bay.
To reach the bridge from I-40 we recommend going south on Arizona Highway 95, then turn left (east) on Mesquite Avenue. Turn right (south) on Lake Havasu Avenue N. and then right again on McCulloch Boulevard N. to drive over the bridge.
Best place to park to take photos: Just after turning onto McCulloch Boulevard N., you'll cross over Arizona Highway 95. Before you reach the actual London Bridge, turn left into the small parking lot near the London Bridge Resort. It's an easy walk along the lower edge of the bridge to the promenade for photos.
On the map below, the green pushpin shows the location of London Bridge.
Once you walk west under the bridge, you'll see a concrete walkway ramp which leads up to the London Bridge visitors' center where there are some historical photos and other information about the bridge and other attractions and points of interest within about a 100-mile radius of Lake Havasu City.
Lake Havasu City, which got its start
as an Army Air Corps rest camp during World War II,
now has over 1,000 businesses, two newspapers and
a college. Remember that the next time a man comes
up to you and offers to sell you a used bridge!