If You Lived Here, You'd be Home by Now!

Photo: Brian Vander Brug / LAT

Bad idea: moving a house
Really bad idea: moving a house BY YOURSELF
Neatorama-worthy: moving a house by yourself, hauling it on a trailer, having the wheels come lose, hitting a bridge, and then getting stranded in the middle of the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles, California!

Here's the story of one DIY kind of guy Patrick Richardson, who thought he could save some money by not hiring professional house movers:

Richardson, 45, of Castaic, obtained a permit from Caltrans to transport the oversize load on the freeway. Instead of taking the shortest route -- up the 405 Freeway and over the Sepulveda Pass -- he took a longer and more level route through downtown L.A. and north on the 101 Freeway.

By the time the 20-foot-wide structure reached the downtown area, wheels were reportedly coming loose from the trailer hauling the house. Richardson made emergency repairs and lumbered onward, only to come to a halt again in Hollywood.

That's where his house struck the 14-foot-10-inch Western Avenue bridge. The impact sheared off the top of the structure's roof. A SigAlert was called when it took hours to free the stuck house. Richardson eventually was able to limp another 3 1/2 miles to Barham Boulevard, where the shoulder beneath the overpass was wide enough for the house to be parked out of traffic lanes.

There the structure has sat, day after day, rush hour after rush hour.


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Thanks Alex. I always suspected the "Sig" didn't stand for "Signal" or "Significant" which is the usual guess.

As for "houses light enough to move: perhaps you're confusing the east coast with the west. We don't get hurricanes here, we get earthquakes. If you build your house out of brick it'll not only cost a lot more in the first place but it won't have that flexibility that wooden houses do here that are able to sway and shake in small quakes and not incur damage.
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I've lived in LA for years and I still don't know what SigAlert means. No guesses please; I've heard many other Angelenos wonder the same thing, guess and not know the real answer. It would be nice to know the real meaning from the police dept or whoever it is that issues these things.
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