Big LACMA Rock Begins Its Roll

The boulder will travel 11 days to make the commute

People spent part of their Tuesday staring at a giant rock in Riverside. This was a special rock. It weighs about 340 tons, is shrink-wrapped and ready for the trip of a lifetime.  

"This thing is so phenomenal," said truck driver Steve Davenport. "I had to stop."

The rock will be transported on a specially-built platform to its new home -- in a museum. The journey began Tuesday night.

It's only about 100 miles from Riverside to LACMA, but this giant boulder can't be moved through the carpool lane. When it finally arrives, it will take its place in LACMA's new "Levitated Mass" exhibit.

"With a truck this big you even have to create your own parking spots," said Mark Voss, the Director of Engineering at Emmert International, which took on the huge transportation project.

The transporter is about two stories tall and so wide it would take up about three lanes on the freeway. That's why the contingent will move on surface streets, instead. No other traffic will be allowed nearby.

"The plan is the utilities go out in front of us and as we are moving," said Voss, who planned the transport. "They'll be up ahead of us moving the power lines and utilities out of our way."

The transporter will pass through 22 cities and is expected to arrive at LACMA on the morning of March 10.

"I'm not interested in the rock; I'm interested in the trailer," said Georgia Elkins. "I couldn't figure out how they were going to set it on anything and not have it fall through."

Davenport was curious about the same thing, because he drives an 18 wheeler.

"There are 204 tires," he said. "Three trucks. Not one. Three trucks. One in front and two in back pushing this load. It's incredible."

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