Levitated Mass; The Rock Will Roll into Long Beach on Wednesday

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Levitated Mass by artist Michael Heizer

Photo by Dave Malkoff

Next week, the streets of Long Beach will be used to transport a 340-ton, 21-and-a-half-foot-high rock from a quarry in Riverside to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“A lot of planning went into this move to ensure safety and prevent any damage,” Mayor Bob Foster said. “We’re also planning on having some fun with the rock while it’s parked in Long Beach on Wednesday, March 7.”

A custom-built transporter with 196 wheels will be used to prevent road damage, and travel will only occur at night with a maximum speed of 8 mph. The safest route was selected to include bridges and roadways that were built to higher strength standards and have higher overhead clearances for bridges and wires. No public monies will be used for the transport.

On the evening of Tuesday, March 6, the rock will enter Long Beach at South Street and Obispo Avenue, head west to Paramount Boulevard, south to Del Amo Boulevard, west to Atlantic Avenue and then a few blocks south to 36th Street, where it will be parked during the day Wednesday. Atlantic Avenue will remain open on Wednesday, but traffic delays are expected between 36th and 37th streets, as only one lane of traffic will be open on either side of the parked trailer during the day.

“We’re going to have fun and enjoy the spectacle,” said Councilmember James Johnson, who represents the 7th District. “Working with the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association, I look forward to being able to promote our wonderful community and businesses.”

Events include an “I Want to Rock With You” party from noon to 4 pm with a DJ playing songs that feature “rock” in the title, food, live artists, the Knolls Ranger, river rock decorating, photo ops with the rock, and more. For more information, please contact the office of Councilmember Johnson at 562.570.7777 or the Bixby Knolls BIA at www.facebook.com/bixbyknollsBIA.

On Wednesday night, the rock will head south to Ocean Boulevard, west to Magnolia Avenue, north to Pacific Coast Highway, and then out of town.

All necessary permits have been acquired for the transport, which is fully insured and subject to strict Federal and State regulations for oversized/overweight movements. More than 500 oversized or overweight transports move through the City annually. The majority occur overnight, and are associated with the Boeing C-17 plant and the Port of Long Beach. The City of Long Beach has already been reimbursed for the cost of temporarily moving or removing street signs and traffic signals to accommodate the transport.

For more information about the art exhibit (Levitated Mass by artist Michael Heizer), the rock’s route and a list of frequently asked questions, visit www.lacma.org/levitatedmass.

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