The London Bridge is not falling down, despite a British tabloid saying that the western Arizona tourist attraction could be bulldozed to make way for drug tourism.
Lake Havasu City officials heard about the story in The Sun after a local resident from a London suburb showed them a copy of the tabloid. They say it was a slap in the face, particularly when more than $600,000 in bridge improvements are planned for this summer. They demanded a retraction and an apology from the newspaper.
The bridge, which spans a channel between the shoreline and an island in Lake Havasu City, was sold by the British government in 1968 to Robert P. McCullough, the city's founder. The bridge was dismantled in London, transported to Lake Havasu and reassembled over a three-year period.
The article in The Sun claimed the bridge is cracking and that the city is so desperate for tourism dollars that it has decided to create a haven for marijuana users called Hemped in Havasu. Marijuana is illegal in Arizona, except for the treatment of certain medical conditions.
"From a cultural standpoint, not only have we been ripped in terms of our caretaking for this heritage monument but for the adherence to the laws of Arizona," said Doug Traub of the Lake Havasu City Convention and Visitors Bureau.
—The Associated Press
First published July 1 2014, 6:01 PM