Osborne House makes early morning trip across bridge
MIDDLEBURY — Early on Monday morning Middlebury College’s Osborne House got a new address. After a plodding journey over Otter Creek, a team of workers manipulating remote controlled dollies moved the 118-ton house to its new location at 6 Cross St.
The move began in the pre-dawn hours, when the Cross Street Bridge was closed to automobile and pedestrian traffic. At approximately 4 a.m. workers from Messier House Moving and Construction began making final checks before the start of the move. Shortly before the start, carved pumpkins were placed on either side of the house.
After being dislodged from its foundation over the past two weeks, the 66-foot-by-28-foot building was raised on sets of wooden blocks and rode on three axles of hydraulic dollies. Workers quickly constructed gravel and plywood ramps over curbs to move the building onto and off of the street. At around 5:30 a.m. the house began to move.
When the building had cleared the traffic circle, the move proceeded at a slow pace across Otter Creek to its final destination, stopping frequently.
Standing at just less than 28 feet tall, the house got a lift from the blocks and wheels supporting it. The additional 7 feet of height required workers from Green Mountain Power and Fairpoint Communication to temporarily raise overhead power and phone lines to allow the house to pass under them.
The 1,135-foot journey took about two and a half hours. By 8 a.m. the Osborne House was off the street and in the beginning stages of positioning onto a foundation.
Project managers anticipate the Osborne House will be firmly placed at the new location by Friday.
Read Evan Johnson’s reporter’s notebook about his experience makign this video by clicking here.
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