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LACMA rock night 3: Boulder prepares for dicey maneuver

March 1, 2012 |  1:47 pm

Photo: Spectators gather to get a close up view of the LACMA rock in Glen Avon Wednesday evening. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

The 340-ton LACMA rock landed in San Bernardino County on Thursday morning, and the odyssey from Riverside County to the Los Angeles museum was moving along with no problems.

"Everything went very smoothly on the transporter's second night. The transporter moved at a good clip, covering about eight miles," the Los Angeles County Museum of Art said on its blog Thursday morning.

A new challenge is expected to occur sometime Thursday night or Friday morning, when the rock will have to undergo a dicey maneuver, traveling under an overpass in Chino with only six inches of clearance.

PHOTOS: LACMA rock on the move

LACMA has embarked on an ambitious project to move the two-story-high rock from a Riverside County quarry about 106 miles away to Los Angeles' Mid-Wilshire area so the rock can be the centerpiece of a new exhibit, "Levitated Mass." The rock will be set up so it appears to levitate above visitors.

Because it only travels from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., the rock has been attracting visitors while it rests in the daylight. The rock is so large and cumbersome it can only move at night on roads closed to traffic. Officials also had to use a circuitous route to avoid "overpasses and any streets or bridges deemed too weak to support the transporter and cargo," according to the museum.

"It'll be amazing if they make it all the way down to Wilshire without tearing up the town,'' said Fred Edwards, 76, a retired civil engineer from Jurupa, who was among the scores of locals who pulled to the side of the road to take a peek.

INTERACTIVE: Getting the rock ready to roll

The entire project — the art rock, construction of its sculptural site and the move — will cost upward of $10 million, which LACMA has raised from private donors, including Terry and Jane Semel, Bob Daly and Carole Bayer Sager. LACMA paid $70,000 to the quarry for the rock alone.

By sunrise Friday, the rock is supposed to rest for the day just over the Los Angeles County border in Diamond Bar, at Chino Avenue and Chino Hills Parkway. Museum officials say that because the intersection has fast-moving traffic and no parking, spectators can drive by, but it would be difficult to stop and look or take a photo.

The rock is carried on a centipede-like 200-foot-long transporter with 176 wheels, which is roughly two freeway lanes wide.

The trip will take 11 nights and is expected to arrive at LACMA in the wee hours of Saturday, March 10.


Interactive map: LACMA's art rock route

Westward, ho! for LACMA's art rock

340-ton boulder to begin tortuous trip to LACMA

-- Rong-Gong Lin II with Deborah Vankin and Phil Willon

Photo: Spectators gather to get a close up view of the LACMA rock in Glen Avon on Wednesday evening. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times