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Professional movers work all day to ready the house for its big journey. (Courtesy of the Los Angeles Daily News).

THE LITTLE HOUSE THAT COULDN'T: A WRONG MOVE LEAVES HOME STRANDED ON THE FREEWAY
by  Judy Gish
Issue Date: 10/2007

Caltrans steps in to rescue a homeless house

With good intentions, a Santa Clarita couple set out on September 15 to move a surplus house to their property for, they say, use as a homeless shelter. A few bad decisions later, and the house was left sitting on the shoulder of the Hollywood Freeway (U.S. 101) near Barham Boulevard, a magnet for taggers, vandals and hordes of media.

The owner obtained a Caltrans permit for the move, but the moving equipment was inadequate and a route other than what was stated on the permit was taken. Instead of taking the Santa Monica Freeway (I-10) to the San Diego Freeway (I-405), the couple ended up on the 101, where the house hit an overpass and the vehicle’s tires went flat. 

For nine days, Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) attempted to involve the owner in an effort to remove the house. On the 10th day, the Department stepped in, hired Master House Movers of Canyon Country, and bid farewell to the house at 10 pm on September 25.

The house now resides at the mover’s storage yard. The owner has 30 days from the move to claim it and get it out of the yard. After that, Caltrans will have it demolished. Instead of being home free, the owner will be billed $17,000 for the move, $500 for storage and an additional $6,000 if demolition is the house’s final destination.

Christine Anderson, Maintenance Region South Manager, supervised the move for Caltrans with outstanding professionalism that enabled a smooth operation. She thanked the following people for their assistance:

(Caltrans) Linda Harrel, Linda Wilford, Willie Perales, Zoe Yue, John Yang, Deborah Harris, Judy Gish, Paul LaMond, Steve Dickey, Pam Dennis, Mike Young and Dan Freeman.
(CHP) Captain Jeff Goodwin, Sergeant Jeff Loftin and Officers Ellis, Mendoza, Regan, McCutcheon.

 

 

 

The house was hit hard by taggers. Easy freeway access but not exactly move-in ready. The owners removed part of the house and moved it separately. On the move! CHP officers accompany the house to its new home in a Santa Clarita storage yard. (Courtesy of the Los Angeles Daily News).