340-Ton Rock Embarking on Epic Journey

Boulder will travel 60 miles in nine days
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2011 12:22 PM CDT
The 340-ton boulder.   (Press-Enterprise)

(Newser) – When does it take nine days to travel 60 miles? When you’re towing a 21-foot-tall, 340-ton boulder. The solid piece of granite—known in Riverside, Calif., simply as “the rock”—is making the 60-mile journey from a quarry to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Press-Enterprise reports. Since it’s so large, it requires a specially built 200-foot, 200-wheel trailer and can only travel on city streets, at a rate of about 7 miles per day. The epic move will cost $1.5 million.

Cities along the route also had to give clearance for the rock’s trip to LACMA, which commences Aug. 5 and requires that certain utility lines be taken down so the boulder can pass. Upon arrival at its new permanent home, the boulder will be the centerpiece of an exhibit by artist Michael Heizer, who reportedly paid $120,000 for the rock. The 680,000-pound monolith will be installed above a trench and will appear to float in the permanent “Levitated Mass” exhibit; a museum spokesperson says it will be “quite the conversation piece.”

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