An immense payload, the megalith was transported to the museum by a purpose-built vehicle consisting of several semi-tractors, both pulling and pushing from behind, the huge suspension jig, a hierarchy of beams and wheel trucks resembling a Calder mobile - arguably a work of art in itself - designed to provide flexibility of steering around tight corners while distributing the load over many wheels so as not to overstress the road bed.
Along the route, advance crews removed light poles and traffic signals, raised or removed low-hanging utility lines, trimmed trees, and blocked traffic to permit this football-field length land ship to pass. In its wake, follow-up crews restored the infrastructure. The journey from quarry to museum began on Feburary 28th, spanned four counties (Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and Los Angeles) and twenty-two cities to arrive at LACMA in the early morning on Saturday, March 10th.
Despite the overnight hours, crowds of thousands followed twitter feeds broadcasting the status of the journey and lined the route, photographing, taking video, and cheering the convoy along its way as it picked through tight quarters, waited at times for tow trucks to remove cars parked in the clearly marked temporary no parking zones, and removed the occasional obstacle missed by the advance crews.
When this monster arrived at the museum, it stopped for a time, allowing people get up close, touch the rock, take tourist photos, etc. All in all, a well coordinated, well-run transport operation, and perhaps a dry run for the upcoming transportation of the Retired Space Shuttle Endeavour to its display site at Exposition Park.
|The rock negotiating the turn from Figueroa St. to Adams Blvd.|
|A tight turn from Adams Blvd. onto Western Ave.|
|Arrival at LACMA.|