Pic by Richard Ankrom
Ever since Caltrans replaced the freeway signs on the 110 North in November, artist Richard Ankrom has been trying to figure out if any of his 2001 work "Guerrilla Public Service" had been saved.
Richard dropped us an email the other day to give us the bad word: Nope.
Above, the rubbish bale in which Ankrom's work, along with plenty of old freeway signs -- has been crushed.
When I first wrote about the sign replacement last week, Richard said he hadn't heard the news -- and then rushed out to see where the signs had gone.
Now, he writes:
Thanks again for the heads up. It took a while to track the signs down, finally got an answer on the 2nd, but it was too late.
The sign crew was there Nov. 22nd, so it was probably crushed before Thanksgiving.
Caltrans awarded the sign removal and installation contract to Peterson/Chase. Under contract they were to recycle the old signs. Peterson/Chase and Garcia Recycling are within 3 blocks of each other in Garden Grove, Ca.
The aluminum bales are going to China, and they are not willing to sell them to me. I will keep trying, before they go in a shipping container.
One of the contractor's employees knew about the sign project and thought he had saved it, as it turns out he saved the wrong one, not knowing the location or that my signature was on the back.
Ankrom, of course, is the artist who famously added a marker on a 110 freeway sign to signal the turnoff to the 5 North -- something that, surprisingly, hadn't been on the 110 North signs until then. Ankrom was among the motorists who had been confused by the lack of any direction to the 5 North -- and decided to do something about it.
Caltrans was not only cool with the Ankrom's work, but agreed to keep it up -- until, that is, the signs were replaced last month.