Why did the house cross the road? (To get to the other side)

By Anne Broache

As you may have seen on this blog before, we are all about finding ways to reduce how much waste our projects send to landfills—both to leave our environment better than we found it and to save taxpayers money.

Fully intact, the house makes its move
across the street toward its new location.

But usually we’re talking about practices like reusing soil and recycling concrete during highway construction. That’s why the scene atop Renton’s Talbot Hill neighborhood on a recent Tuesday morning was a bit unusual.

At a bend in Davis Avenue South overlooking downtown Renton and Lake Washington, an entire 3,300-square-foot house rested on steel beams and sets of wheels in its original lot. Over the course of a day, a small contractor crew used a winch and pulley system to roll the two-story structure to a vacant lot across the street.

Our agency bought the home and lot last year to prepare for an important road project for the area (more on that below). Often, when we purchase property, the most cost-effective next step is to demolish and remove whatever buildings remain.
A few hours after beginning its slow move, the
structure has almost reached its final resting spot.

In this case, however, we emphasized the need for recycling when seeking demolition contractors. As a result, the winning contractor found a way to reuse and relocate most of the house—at a price nearly 90 percent less than what we had budgeted.  Bottom line: The house is no longer in the way of our project, and the contractor can now finish readying the house for new residents.

We’re excited that we secured not only an affordable bid but also a green one—recycling at its best. We eliminated potential waste from tearing down the house, erased the emissions and fuel usage that would have occurred as haul trucks made numerous trips through Renton neighborhoods, and prevented the need for construction materials to build a new home on the vacant lot.

Making way for traffic improvements 

The property is one of several ongoing acquisitions related to the I-405/SR 167 Direct Connector project.

This visualization shows a planned
new flyover ramp to connect the SR 167
HOT lanes with the I-405 carpool lanes.
We plan to improve traffic flow and safety by building a new flyover ramp that connects the High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on SR 167 with the carpool lanes on Interstate 405. We don’t have funding for construction yet, but we’re moving forward with property purchases and design so that we’re ready to start building once funding is in place.

If you’d like to learn more and follow our progress, be sure to bookmark the I-405/SR 167 Interchange Direct Connector Project webpage.