LONDON BRIDGE IS STAYING UP

LONDON BRIDGE IS STAYING UP

 

As the London Bridge in England was sinking into the River Thames in the 1960s, Sundt was making a name for itself with an innovative bridge construction technique known as soffit fill. When the City of London decided to auction the failing bridge to raise funds to build a replacement, plans were made to relocate the existing structure to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and reconstruct it on dry land using this novel technique.

 

Soffit fill involves building up an earthen fill so that the mound is as high as the bottom of the bridge to be constructed. Crews form and place a concrete waste slab on top of the mound, and then the entire bridge is built on top of it. When the bridge is finished, the mound, including the waste slab, is removed.

 

Although there were 130,000 tons of granite in the original bridge, only 10,000 tons of it were brought to Lake Havasu for the outer facing blocks. Most of these blocks were cut down to form a skin for the new structure. The pier footing design and use of soffit fill were cost saving proposals we made after the project bid. When the new concrete bridge structure was completed, we applied the original facing stones (each weighing 1,000 to 8,000 pounds), which had been match-marked so they could be replaced in their original relative locations on the bridge.

 

Time has shown that the vision for the London Bridge attraction in Arizona was correct. Today, Lake Havasu City draws over one million visitors annually.

 

Client

McCulloch Properties, Inc.

Project

London Bridge Relocation

Category

Environment