It is the only bridge leading to the island where boats launch on Lake Havasu and one of the state's major tourist attractions. Some 12,000 vehicles cross it daily.
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 city got a partial victory with the article no longer appearing on The Sun's website, Traub said. An attorney for the tabloid wrote to Traub saying editors were reviewing what he contends are several inaccuracies.
"It's not a great situation to be in," Traub said Tuesday. "On one hand, we know we can't believe what's in these publications and take them seriously. But there are a lot of people who take it with less than a grain of salt."
Sylvia Want, originally from Hampton on the outskirts of London, said she began receiving calls from friends and relatives in Britain shortly after the article came out asking if it was true. She took a copy to city officials, afraid it would hurt tourism and create the impression that Lake Havasu City would become a mecca for drug users.
While the English-style village surrounding the bridge is in need of work, she said the bridge that her brother-in-law helped construct and that lured her to Lake Havasu is beautiful.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau is offering anyone with a U.K. passport a thumbnail-piece of granite from the bridge and a brochure to let people back home know the bridge isn't going anywhere.
McCullough's grandson, Michael, said Tuesday that he would get involved if the city wasn't taking care of the bridge.
The improvements planned this summer — to drain water from one of the support piers and to create an entryway into the bridge to ensure workers' safety — would extend the life of the bridge by at least another 40 years, city officials said.