Driver Monument breaks apart during move

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Bob Uphues


At the same time the Gold Star Memorial is being refurbished in Guthrie Park, plans also called for workers to re-site the Driver Monument, a large, granite former horse trough-turned-planter at the east end of the park.

The Driver Monument, donated to the village decades ago by the family of an early Riverside village president, is made of three different sections of granite, cemented together. The village had moved the monument to its present location from elsewhere in the park in 1967. It sat on a 12-inch-thick footing that had sunk so far forward into the ground it was becoming a hazard.

On May 9, workers poured a new 12-inch-thick concrete footing immediately behind the monument, which was to be lifted by a crane on May 13 and moved on top of the new footing.

It didn't go as planned.

As the crane began to lift the monument from the ground, one of four straps securing it snapped and the top two sections of the monument slid forward from their positions, tumbling to the ground.

"It was a heart-stopping moment," said Public Works Director Edward Bailey, who was on hand to watch the operation.

By early afternoon, however, workers had the monument in its new home, reassembled and no worse for wear. Even the pansies planted in the front trough escaped serious damage.

Part of the trouble, it turned out, was the weight of the monument. It was far heavier than anyone had anticipated. Estimates put the monument at 20,000 pounds, but it turns out that all three sections combined weighed 28,700 pounds, according to Bailey.

Email: Twitter: @RBLandmark

Love the Landmark?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Riverside Brookfield Landmark and We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

2 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

William Swart Ruting  

Posted: May 16th, 2019 4:55 PM

I agree with Dave - working in safety we required a minimum 50% over weight safety margin and inspected every strap for cut, abrasion, etc. before allowing the lift.

Dave Collings  

Posted: May 16th, 2019 6:21 AM

Obviously the people involved didn't know what they were doing. Hire a better company next time. Someone could have been hurt.

Facebook Connect

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Riverside and Brookfield.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad