It was a night owl that traveled after dark when roads weren't as crowded, staging during the day at a Costco parking lot in suburban Bolingbrook and at a forest preserve.
Thankfully, no damage was done along the way.
"The whole thing went as smoothly as we could have wanted it to," Salles said.
The magnet had its own Twitter hashtag (#bigmove) so fans could keep up. And a specially built website with GPS to track the magnet became Fermilab's most popular page.
As word spread, thousands of people came out to watch it inch along. Some sat in lawn chairs. Others came to chat with the scientists. Television news helicopters swirled overhead.
With a police escort, it finally rolled into the suburban Chicago lab shortly after 4 a.m. Friday with an "oversize load" sign and a waving American flag.
During Friday evening's celebration, Fermilab planned a community open house and magnetic experiments and lessons for children.
The building where the magnet will ultimately be used is still under construction, so the magnet should be operational sometime in 2014.
Keyser reported from Chicago. Associated Press reporter Ashley Heher contributed to this report from Chicago.
- LDS missionaries developing strategies to...
- Judge orders Colo. cake-maker to serve gay...
- 50 things you might not know about 15 of your...
- Pearl Harbor ceremony marks bombing...
- Space and religion: How believers view latest...
- Utah remembers Pearl Harbor namesake ship,...
- Nelson Mandela's faith made him a worldwide...
- Snow, ice, deep-freeze hit large swath of US
- Obama: Income inequality a defining... 106
- Judge orders Colo. cake-maker to serve... 52
- LDS missionaries developing strategies... 39
- Fast-food strikes return amid push for... 31
- Colorado court hears discrimination... 30
- Utahns react to death of Nelson Mandela 26
- Research: Native American genes have... 23
- Obama declares health care law is... 21