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Roads clearing for Yellow House move

Spectators asked to stay away from route by police

Staff photo / Allie Vugrincic Merv Jones with Stein House Movers, right, guides a beam toward the Yellow House, Howland’s oldest home, as Adonis Gantt looks on. Roads will close Sunday as the Yellow House will move from its place on Niles Cortland Road to a new spot near Howland Middle School.

HOWLAND — Police and fire officials are asking people to avoid the area of Niles Cortland Road and state Route 82 Sunday morning while the Yellow House is moving.

The historic house, believed be the township’s oldest still-standing structure, will be moved by truck from its place on Niles Cortland Road near the Route 82 eastbound on-ramp to a new location across the street from Howland Middle School in order to make way for the Ohio Department of Transportation’s diverging diamond interchange project.

Law enforcement will close Niles Cortland Road and Route 82 along the route starting around 6:15 a.m. Sunday, and no traffic will be allowed to enter or exit that area. Safety forces have said they do not want people lining the streets to watch the event because it will cause an obstacle for crews.

Described by safety forces as a “labor-intensive event between ODOT, Ohio Edison, (Ohio) State Highway Patrol, Howland PD and Howland Fire,” the process of moving the house is expected to take several hours. Utility wires along the route will be disconnected and reconnected or moved to make way for the house.

Additional Howland Township police, fire and public works crews will be on the scene during the move.

“Our focus will be on making sure the roadways and the side of the roadways are clear. We do not want to have to worry about crowd control and the possibility of someone getting injured or killed,” reads a post shared on Howland police and fire’s social media pages.

The Howland Historical Society plans to record the move with a drone and the footage likely will be available to view at a later date, said Cindee Mines with the historical society.

The Yellow House is about 186 years old and has been the home of the Howland Historical Society since 2019. Niles Realtor Jason Altobelli, who had owned the house, donated it to the society for $1 in spring of last year in anticipation of the move.

When said and done, moving the house is expected to cost between $375,000 and $400,000, according to Mines. ODOT is covering the cost as part of its state Routes 46 and 82 interchange improvement project. That project is expected to cost $16.6 million, according to its website.

“When you look at the total cost of the project, it’s not that much,” Mines said.

She said ODOT works with the State Historic Preservation Office to evaluate historic buildings when they are involved in an ODOT project.

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