AUSTIN (KXAN) — After nearly a week, workers are finally able to move the house that was stuck in a Travis Heights neighborhood. However, they were met with several obstacles Thursday morning after a crew member was injured and the house got stuck again.
As of Thursday evening, the house was stranded once again on Highway 21 just outside of San Marcos. It is not expected to move until Friday.
The journey started late Wednesday night on Live Oak Street where the house was originally stuck. Crews were able to move the house down South Congress when it got stuck again at Radam Lane on the railroad tracks just south of Ben White around 1:15 a.m. The rail road signals were in the way, blocking the house. The house was once again freed and back on the move from Slaughter Lane to South First Street.
A worker was injured on South First near Akins High School at 3 a.m. An ambulance arrived and took the worker — injured on the roof during the move — to the hospital. His injuries were not serious.
The house was stuck once more on I-35 after crews realized the house was going to hit a guard rail around 5:30 a.m. The house was raised a few inches and continued its journey to Lockhart. Around 1 p.m. the truck carrying the house had three blowouts causing the home to become stranded on the side of Highway 21.
As the crew drove down Highway 21 this morning there were many times that they would have to go off the road to avoid hitting an 18-wheeler or other objects. They say that is what most likely caused the tires to blow.
“Every time you go off the road you run the risk when you got weight on your tires. One, it could come off the rim, two it loses air and then in the meantime the inner tires are stressed because it’s tight,” said AAA-Austin Home Mover Field Manager Nicholas Morphis.
Morphis says the company followed all rules and regulations and when it comes to making sure they wouldn’t have the problems they’ve seen, he says they checked. “Everything was measured once, twice, maybe three times a week, you know. You can measure and measure and still not be quite perfect.”
The house was set to move last Friday with residents waking up to find the house blocking several homes in the middle of their neighborhood. Trees and a utility pole trapped the house near East Live Oak and Brackenridge Street.
On Monday, worker sawed off pieces of the home so it would fit down the road, but a city inspector made them stop saying they needed a bond to continue work. The city says the AAA-Austin Home Movers did not secure permits to cut trees in the area, or the house. They also failed to get a permit to block traffic once the home was stuck.
It’s not the first time the company has had a home stuck. In 2010, a home they were moving was stuck on MoPac.
Morphis was on-site Tuesday, helping to remove the roof. We asked him about the claims of disorganization against him.
“This right here is a matter of 6 inches really, 6 inches over here, 6 inches over there, and then the [tree] knot that sticks out on both sides, that’s what we were dealing with,” Morphis said. He defends his company and says it was not bad planning.
The home was originally going to be demolished, but was then donated to a new owner.