Thursday, December 22, 2011

Status Report on Spur Ranch Road Improvements

Dear Neighbor,

Here’s an update on the SRR road improvement plans. Bob Sherwin, of RoadPacker Southwest, plans to redo completely as soon as possible (at company expense) the road segment between Rte 285 and the RR tracks. The original treatment used a faulty batch of clay from a local supplier which resulted in the road surface dissolving in the presence of water. As a stopgap measure, Mr. Sherwin’s  contractor has repeatedly graded the top surface of the road, as necessary, to remove the slushy coating. Underneath the surface, where it is dry, the road is very hard and stable, which is why there has been no noticeable washboarding or other deterioration.


Here is an excerpt of a letter to me from Mr. Sherwin, which contains specifics:


As you know I have been testing a number of soil samples, looking for a quality clay source to add to Spur Ranch Road when we rebuild the road. The attached sample (an analysis was attached to his letter) shows you an example of the results of what we are seeing as we look for the perfect source.  We need the three requirements below regarding the soil in order for RoadPacker Plus to work 100% of the time.

1. We need a pH of 7 to 8
2. A clay content of 15% to 50%
3. The quality of clay is determined by the CEC test (Cation Exchange Capacity) We need 15meq / 100g or greater from this test.

The attached sample is close to what we are looking for however the CEC is 12.2meq / 100g and not quite high enough as we need at least 15 meq / 100g. As you can see the clay content and pH are perfect. I have 5 more samples being tested from 5 different sources of clay from Santa Fe, Cochiti and Espanola this week. Once we find our clay source then all we need is 4 days in a row of day time temperatures above freezing. It doesn’t matter at night time if it is below freezing as our needs have to do with the ability to mix the soil properly during the day time. Once it is enclosed and sealed, the night time temperatures are irrelevant according to Mr. McDermott.

Michael McDermott
(CEO of RoadPacker International ) will be arriving here around the 7th of January. He has to go to New Zealand after Christmas for a job, then will be here in Santa Fe after that trip. We do not need to wait for him if we have the right clay source and at least 4 days of decent weather above freezing. Weather permitting however, I think it is safe to say that we will be done with this road by at least mid January or sooner.

We have continued to rent the grader to keep things at least passable and safe for you and your neighbors until you get you new road completed for your for the New Year. Thanks for hanging in there with us. Please know that we are doing our best and Spur Ranch Rd is our #1 priority.


Other information: Following the solicitation of bids, SRRA has signed a contract with Durant Sand and Gravel, to plow the road after a snowfall. Here is the text of the agreement:


This will confirm that for snow plowing of Spur Ranch Road from NM 285 to the end of Spur Ranch Road (approx. 3 miles in length) from December 10, 2011 through December 10, 2012 the Spur Ranch Road Association will pay Duran Sand and Gravel, Inc. the sum of $350 each and every time snow plowing is necessitated.

Snow plowing will commence when the level of snow has reached a depth of 6 inches. If snow has reached a depth of 12 inches or greater the sum to be paid to Duran Sand & Gravel will be $450 for snow removal from Spur Ranch Road.

Snow will be removed down to but not into the roadbed, the road bed having been treated with Roadpacker Plus materials which must not be disturbed by plowing.

The width of the road cleared by plowing will be from edge-of-road to edge-of-road not to include the ditching on either side of the road.

Snow plowing will commence no later than 7.00 a.m. if there is at least 6 inches of snow on the roadway and no later than 4.00 p.m. if there is 6 inches of snow on the roadway. This will allow residents who are going to and returning from work to safely use Spur Ranch Road.

Duran Sand & Gravel Inc. will provide for its own liability and property damage insurance.


Finally, the SRRA directors will be meeting in January to develop a proposed operating budget for the coming year, along with the dues and fees needed to implement the budget.  Following the budget proposal, a community meeting will be held to give residents an opportunity to consider and vote on the proposal, as per the SRRA bylaws. Once an approved budget has been obtained, then SRRA will submit formal requests for contributions from the SRR homeowners’ associations and from individual residents along the road.


I and my fellow directors wish you all safe and happy holidays. We also welcome your comments and suggestions, which you can easily post on the SRRA blogsite by emailing them to You can view the blogsite, which contains road conditions, weather information, comments from residents and other useful information, at




No comments:

Post a Comment