London Bridge is Falling Down.. Falling Down..
A children’s song we all heard when we were little. Preschool children still enjoy singing this song.
It was not until the early 1900s that engineers actually discovered that London Bridge was collapsing. But it was by no means a matter of fun.
This bridge is made entirely of black stone and is already over a hundred years old. It is the busiest place in London. It is a place where 8000 pedestrians and 900 vehicles passing every hour. At that time, the bridge was found to be slowly sinking. Surveyors calculated that London Bridge was sinking by a third of a centimeter a year.
Surveys conducted in 1924 found that the eastern side of the bridge was nine centimeters wider than the western side. It took the city council another four years to decide what to do about it. City Councilman Evan Lukin suggested that the bridge be sold instead of being demolished.
Initially, Evan’s proposal came as a surprise to city councilors, but later city councilors decided to consider it. It was not until 1967, City Council decided that the London Bridge should actually be sold and proceedings could be used for the betterment of the city.
Several months after the decision was announced, applicants came forward to purchase the bridge, but no one was able to pay a price that the city council could demand. Five weeks before the deadline, Evan Lukin volunteered to take on the responsibility of selling the bridge and go to the United States for it.
But even in America, selling the bridge was not so easy. He called a press conference on the bridge at the British American Chamber of Commerce in New York.
“This bridge is not that old because it was built in 1832. But the point is, there are no houses on this bridge, what’s the significance of this bridge except for a children’s song about it?” “London Bridge is not just a bridge. It has a history of about two thousand years, dating from the first century AD to the Roman-London cultural connection… ”Mr. Lukin began by lecturing on the bridge.
Shortly thereafter, Robert McCulloch, a wealthy businessman who owned the McCulloch Oil Company in Missouri, USA, offered to buy the bridge. He bought the bridge for $ 2.46 million.
A few years earlier, Robert McCulloch had bought thousands of acres of land from the US government. It is located near Lake Havasu in the state of Arizona in the United States. Havasu Lake is a large reservoir created by the crossing of the Colorado River. Although Robert McCulloch developed the land as a city called “Lake City”, he found it difficult to find buyers for the land. His business partner, C.J. Wee Wood, meanwhile, told him about London Bridge. McCulloch soon realized that he could buy London Bridge and turn his large estate into a tourist attraction.
The 950-foot-long, 33,000-ton Bridge was carefully dismantled and carefully packed in large wooden boxes and transported by ships along the Panama Canal to Long Beach, California. From there, the boulders had to be hauled three hundred miles by truck to transport them to their destination. Transporting cost for these boulders were $7 million.
Then came the hardest part. That is, the task of reassembling the bridge. Fortunately, everything related to it was meticulously planned. When the bridge was removed, almost all the bricks were numbered and packed in order. Even so, it took three years to reassemble the bridge. No matter how carefully the boulders were transported, some of them were damaged during transportation. The damaged blocks had to be replaced with new ones. The new stones were given a nearly century-old appearance after the lattice made of kerosene lamps was applied to the surface of the blocks in a special way.
The arches of the old bridge were reinforced with steel and concrete frames so that they could withstand the weight of vehicles and pedestrians crossing the bridge.
Now the bridge is finished. Now it is time to build a river under the bridge. There is no such attraction on a bridge without a river. But there is no river in Lake Havasu. The bridge is built on dry plains. So the next step was to build a river under the bridge. A stream was built from Lake Havasu to run under the bridge. This canal is about a mile long.
The London Bridge, which was removed from the City of London, reopened on October 10, 1970 in Havasu City, Arizona, USA. With that huge series of festivities. The chief guest at the opening ceremony was the Mayor of London, who decided to sell London Bridge.
Robert McCulloch’s business strategy was a resounding success. Demand for this specialty has grown significantly as a result of recent corporate scandals. The population of Havasu City, which was only two or three hundred throughout the 1960s, was 1974 by the time it had risen to 10,000. London Bridge attracted more than two million tourists to the city.
Lake Havasu City currently has more than 52,000 residents. London Bridge is just one part of everyday life. The fresh interest in the bridge was lost on the people. But the most important contribution to the creation of Lake Havasu City came from the ancient London Bridge.
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