Of course, you remember the childhood song, “London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady.” As the story goes, the bridge construction took place in the early 19th century. Being meant to handle 19th century foot traffic, horses, wagons, and the like, the overpass became obsolete.
As modern traffic took its toll on the viaduct, the need for a transition became obvious. Entrepreneurs purchased, dismantled, and shipped the London Bridge to America to become a new thoroughfare across the Colorado River, in Lake Havasu, Arizona.
According to history.com, to ensure the bridge could handle modern traffic, construction crews built a hollow core of steel-reinforced concrete, which was then covered with 10,000 tons of the original 19th century granite.
Workers began by labeling each of its granite bricks with markers that indicated their arch span, row number and position. The bridge was then disassembled, packed away in crates and shipped to Long Beach, California, via the Panama Canal. From there, a small army of trucks carried it across the desert to its new home at Lake Havasu.
All told, the shipping, assembly and dredging took over three years and cost Robert McCulloch and C.V. Wood some $7 million.
Ya know, the last time I asked someone if they wanted to buy a bridge, things didn’t go so well.