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‘Massive’ house moved through valley

Relocation filmed for television show


Crews from London-based Windfall Films take footage as movers prepare the house for relocation from the Ketchum area to Hailey. Photo by David N. Seelig

A massive, two-story house was moved Wednesday night from Bus Stop Lane north of Ketchum to the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Spruce Street in Hailey. The move caused temporary power outages along the state Highway 75 corridor as Idaho Power Co. employees moved cable, power and telephone lines out of the way to accommodate the structure’s ungainly height.

The move got off to a rocky start when one of the front dolly’s tires got caught on a sharp object after only the first five inches of movement. That delayed the move by about an hour and a half, but the crew made up the time and finished the relocation about two hours ahead of schedule, before rush hour traffic on the highway ramped up.

The event was documented by Windfall Films—a London-based firm that produces the TV show “Massive Moves.” Nathanial Jessel, Windfall Films’ director for the shoot, said he is not sure when the episode will air, but it will most likely be sometime in 2013, during the show’s second season. The show airs in the U.S. on A+E Networks.

“We’re really happy with the shots we got,” he said.

The move was performed by Boise-based Associated Pacific Movers. The moving company’s vice president, John Spencer, who oversaw the relocation, said the house was about 24 feet wide, 60 feet long and 31 feet tall—35 feet tall by the time his crew hoisted it onto a set of three eight-tire dollies that the company uses to move large structures such as this one.

Clint Kelly, a member of Spencer’s team said that to lift the house, the team first “beats” holes in the foundation through which two long metal beams and two shorter crossbeams are dragged. The beams intersect near the corners of the structure. Hydraulic jacks are then positioned under the four beam intersections and the house is lifted off its foundation and onto the dollies.

After the house is moved, the structure is lowered onto “roll-off beams” and then towed sideways until it rests properly on a previously prepared foundation. The maximum speed the house can be moved is about 15-20 mph, Kelly said.

“Any faster and you start to get speed wobbles,” he said.


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