Moving day in Longport

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Joshua Feldbauer of Egg Harbor Township works on the come-alongs in place to lift the Oberon Avenue home.

LONGPORT-- When you tell someone you are moving chances are they assume you will have a different address when you move. Not so for Lizanne Jones and family. They are moving all right, but it is six feet higher, not to a different location.

The Jones home on Oberon Avenue is on the New Jersey registry of historic places. The home sits on pilings over the water of the back bay, just adjacent to Longport Borough Hall.

The quaint home was taking in a little bit of water with every high tide for a long time. The borough assisted the homeowner in securing a grant to help them lift the house off its pilings and raise it up to current flood plane standard of 11 feet, according to Borough Engineer Dick Carter.

Next comes the job of actually raising it those six feet. Call in Steve Hauck, owner of SJ House Movers. He and his crew of four very hard working men installed new steel piers, replacing the old, weather worn wooden ones. Hauck said they put steel girders under the house and they sit it on the steel pier. Once all that is in place and a solid base is created, then comes the job of actually lifting the house.

No cranes for this job. No big equipment. Instead it is hand power and 52 come-alongs that the crew is using. Attached to the base and to the steel piling, the men crank each of the come-alongs. Hauck moved the home next door a few years ago; a job that earned him an award from the House Movers Association. "We won an award for the most innovative move in the country," said Hauck. "It’s pretty cool."

Joshua Feldbauer of Egg Harbor Township has been working with Hauck for about two years and said he can feel the come-along tighten up just a bit and he knows to adjust the next one and the next after that, keeping the pressure on just enough to gently lift the house up.

Hauck said the job will take about five to six days to lift the house to its new elevation and then the next phase will be a different contractor building wooden walkways. The total cost of the project is $97,000. Hauck said his portion of the job is about $60,000 to complete.

When it is done and sitting at its new level about the water, it should be safe from the high tide.

Steve Hauck, owner of SJ Hauck House Movers, has come up with some very unique ways to move homes.  

  Scott Wardell of Ventnor said he likes the job of moving homes because it is always different. He said the good thing about this Longport job is that he can just jump in the water to cool off.

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