The LACMA Rock: the weekend report
Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s in-transit boulder –- now four nights into its 105-mile journey from Riverside County to the Mid-Wilshire museum –- pulled a double shift of sorts last night.
The most recent driving stint took 4 1/2 hours longer than expected, and the unwieldy, near 100-person rock caravan found itself inching along Pathfinder Boulevard, in Rowland Heights, in the light of day Saturday morning.
The rock was supposed to reach its destination at Pathfinder Road near Fullerton Road around 5 a.m. Saturday, but difficulties traversing several hills last night put the rock behind schedule, the museum said. Additional “push and pull trucks” were needed to guide the transporter up and down the steep hills. And at each juncture, the position of the trucks needed to be reconfigured, which further slowed things down.
The rock is supposed to travel exclusively at night, on roads closed to traffic, from about 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning. But at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, a decision was made between Emmert International, who’s handling the move, California Highway Patrol and Caltrans to continue driving through the morning until the rock reached its planned destination at Pathfinder Road. It was decided that on this particular stretch of the journey, Pathfinder was the safest and least invasive place to turn in for the day. So the rock caravan continued onward into the morning.
The transporter parked at 9:30 a.m. One museum representative said there were minor traffic backups for a block or two along Pathfinder, heading west behind the transporter. But Emmert International’s Terry Emmert said traffic on Pathfinder was light Saturday morning, and that the transporter didn’t cause significant traffic delays.
The rock, on its 200-foot long transporter, will remain at its current location until Sunday night, when it will resume its trip at roughly 10 p.m.
-- Deborah Vankin
Photo: The boulder for Michael Heizer's sculpture "Levitated Mass" during a daytime stop earlier this week. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times