Saturday, October 8, 2011


You might have missed seeing the picture above in a previous blog; this 340 ton boulder presently is in a quarry close to our house, and it's waiting to make a long-awaited trip to Los Angeles, where it will become the centerpiece of a new artistic installation at the LA County Museum of Art where the old La Brea tar pits used to be.

Now it was originally scheduled to arrive at the Museum in August, but lo, it still sits awaiting at the quarry. One of the latest reports gives an overview of what is to happen:
To make it happen, Emmert International, "a company that specializes in moving 'extreme objects' like nuclear generators and missiles," is building this transporter (in Renzo Piano red!) around the boulder. A road will be carved out of the quarry, and the transporter will move at night, on closed roads, with a police escort, at under 10 mph. Some utility lines and stop lights will have to come down for a short time as the boulder passes by. As you can probably imagine, the permitting for this has been a nightmare, involving the state, three counties, and all the local municipalities.

If you do a search on the internet, you can see that things are not going smoothly or quickly. The latest posting I could find is that the rock was scheduled to leave on October 3, but more difficulties have popped up and it is still sitting at rest.

According to one of the earlier reports that was a little more specific about its travel route, it appeared that it was going to be taken out of the quarry and hauled on a road that parallels the 60 freeway. Jerry and I have been guessing as to where that road might be. There is a road that parallels the freeway on the north side from the quarry to Country Village Road. That road is called Granite Hill. There also is a road that parallels it on the south side called Ben Nevis, and at Country Village Road another one continues, with a little jog, as San Sevaine. Or there is always old Mission Boulevard that used to take people from Riverside in to Pomona, and it loosely parallels the 60 freeway. Jer and I took a drive up to the quarry on October 3 to see what, if anything, was going on, and we shook our heads. That rock, which will stand 2 stories high on its transporter, which is 200 feet long, has to somehow get under or over the 60 freeway, then over or under the 15 Freeway. The engineers know which of the overpasses can hold something of that weight, and which of the underpasses can take something 2 stories high. We can't figure out where that could possibly be.

I am bound and determined to be watching when that huge boulder travels past Country Village Road, for we live very, very close to there. I will be there, even if it is the middle of the night, camera at the ready!

The entire operation will be done at night, because roads have to be closed, utility wires have to be removed and replaced, cars rerouted, etc. It's going to take an army of people to accomplish this, and the movers estimate they can make 7 miles per night, which means a trip of about 10 nights.

No one locally is very excited about this big happening, or at least not excited enough to write newspaper articles about the big move. We have feelers out to personally keep us up to date on the REAL moving date. Right now the word is, "We don't know yet!"

Will the underpasses be high enough? Will the bridges be strong enough? Is it possible the transporter might have a flat tire (there are to be 200 of them) somewhere along the road. Will any corner be cut short and take out a stop light? And during the days, who all are going to stand guard over that baby?

There's lots to think about, but I'm not going to get grey hair over worrying about it. At 7 miles per night, once it gets on the road we'll find it, 'cause it's not going anywhere fast.

Can you imagine how much money this is costing? It just boggles my mind.

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