Locomoted Mass
October 9, 2011 8:24 PM   Subscribe

How can I get the details on the route and timing of the transport of the Levitated Mass bolder?

I live in LA and I want to see this thing being moved--my ideal situation would be to find a restaurant that is in the path of the bolder that I can sit with my unsuspecting date at and wait for the whole thing to unfold before us. Obviously timing will matter, as well as the timeliness of information, since the route and the itinerary are liable to change quickly depending on weather, permits, and unforeseen circumstances. There's also the issue of the roads around this being closed. So to plan this out right, I will need a really good source of information.
posted by brenton to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
On-the-street research is probably going to be your most valuable asset. The city likes to post notices about parking and street closures at least a couple of days beforehand. According to this NYT article they're planning to stop last somewhere in South Central. Unless the plan is to go up Wilshire, which I doubt, it's likely they'll be moving E→W on Washington, Olympic, or Venice/San Vicente. Those streets are all wide and IIRC clear of troublesome overpasses. (Except for the 10 and the 110, which I wonder about...)

That article also says they're moving it at night. I bet it rolls up to LACMA's hood sometime around sunrise on the day it gets there. There's a Starbucks at Fairfax & San Vicente, that's probably where I'd camp.

All speculation, of course, here's hoping someone can provide a mote of authority on the matter. I'd be interested to witness it moving as well...
posted by carsonb at 8:58 PM on October 9, 2011

Just a small note to say I suspect it'll be moving pretty slow: any kind of 'oversized' and/or extra-wide load usually does, so that might make a difference in when & where you should pick for your viewing stand.
posted by easily confused at 2:33 AM on October 10, 2011

Could contact the museum and ask - worst case is that they won't tell you.
posted by leslies at 6:46 AM on October 10, 2011

Response by poster: Ok, so far I've figured out that the rock (satellite view on google maps) is at Stone Valley Materials and is being moved by Emmert International. News sources say the latest estimated departure date is October 17th. Perhaps more info will surface closer to that date.
posted by brenton at 3:46 PM on October 10, 2011

Best answer: So, I caffeinate the Dept. of Public Works building every day, and asked a couple of the guys who come down regularly if they knew everything...and one of them said, "Yeah, it's my job to issue them the permits once they figure out what the fuck they're doing." Apparently there's currently no set route, and everyone's dragging their feet to actually get durability/strain testing done. The route absolutely won't go on any freeways, and I believe the sticking point right now is how/where to get the thing under the 10/110.

Anyway, he wasn't very happy with how the whole thing is going, and said not to put anything by any current estimates for when the boulder will actually be moved. He also said he'd keep me updated.

Another lead came through just now too....but the email has mysteriously disappeared. I sent an email to the Dept. of Transportation and IIRC from glancing at the reply just now they passed me off (forwarding the email) to a guy named Richard Lee in Dept. of Public Works. Who may very well be the man I spoke with this morning (he just gets coffee, so I never have to ask his name, heh.)

So yeah. I'll keep you updated as I find out more. =)
posted by carsonb at 10:33 AM on October 12, 2011

Best answer: Thought you might be interested in this: My guy at Public Works gave me a diagram of Emmert International's 22 Dolly Big Beam System for transporting the Levitated Mass boulder this week. It spent some time in my pocket and so is a little worse for wear, but still a pretty cool layout.


Also, he says the political pressure has been applied and the move is scheduled now to start on November 2. The route as it stands stays pretty far south until it comes up... I think he said Vermont? Vermont to San Vicente would be my guess given that.
posted by carsonb at 10:07 AM on October 28, 2011

That diagram is so cool! Thanks for posting it!
posted by leslies at 10:50 AM on October 31, 2011

Best answer: Word this week is that everyone has signed off on the route except the utilities. Apparently the truck will zig-zag all over northern OC and southland LA before hitting Western going North to Wilshire, and then Wilshire to LACMA. I'm gonna find a nice diner or Sbux on Wilshire and see what I can see. Hopefully I get word that it's moving in time to make arrangements.
posted by carsonb at 8:02 AM on November 8, 2011

Best answer: LACMA has posted the route map. I also happen to know the 'parking spot' before the last leg to the museum, but it's not public info at this point. Memail me if you wanna know.
posted by carsonb at 7:41 AM on November 15, 2011

Response by poster: Dude, you're awesome carsonb! I did notice the map a few days ago but I had forgotten to check back here, you've been doing a lot of legwork and takin' care of business!

I was able to get in contact with someone from the moving company, but they said they would release the info through the local news.
posted by brenton at 10:36 AM on November 15, 2011

Interesting side-note: the LACMA route has the very last bit of the journey along 6th St. going East (as the truck swings all the way around the museum's North Campus) but that wasn't on the permit applications. I wonder if they're going in somewhere off Fairfax, and it was just easier to draw it on gmaps as being on 6th St.

As for timing, they're moving the rock on each leg at night between 10pm and 5am. That's supposedly when they're moving it on the last day too, as it moves North along Figuroa and Western then West along Wilshire, but officially the 'exact travel times are unknown' so I'm betting it'll arrive on campus later in the day to, you know, maximize publicity. At 6mph top speed and with four or five tight corners, (by my estimate) it's gonna take about 4 hours to get there on the last day of moving.

It's been fun talking in the mornings with this guy, he's cynical and hilarious about the whole ordeal. I think he likes knowing there's a lot of positive interest in a part of his job, not just people upset that streets are closed.

There's still no exact date for when it's moving because a leg of the journey through some random municipality right near the start of the route is taking longer to approve the permits. Everything else is greenlit though, so it should be soon!
posted by carsonb at 11:08 AM on November 17, 2011

OK! The report is in that the journey begins on January 4th, and should take several days.

posted by carsonb at 7:21 PM on December 7, 2011

So, after several more delays I believe the rock has actually started its trip from Chino today. It's scheduled to arrive at the LACMA campus VERY early on Saturday morning, March 3rd, like 5am-ish.

As with all other predictions and estimates, I'll believe it when I see it.

Now let's see if I can track down that route schedule with the stopping points on it. =)
posted by carsonb at 12:18 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, something I forgot to mention is that my contact at Public Works is worried because both Levitated Mass and another (even larger) transport carrying a huge factory piece are wanting to be using southerly portions of the route simultaneously. So if a big rock on wheels doesn't do it for you, maybe hang around the Southland this week and see if you can spot the other big truck.
posted by carsonb at 1:40 PM on February 28, 2012

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