Sunday, January 22, 2012

Spur Ranch Road - New Developments_01_22_2012

Dear Neighbors,

This morning, after the temperature moved above freezing, Avenida de los Compadres rapidly deteriorated and became undrivable. That left us no choice but to open Spur Ranch Road for traffic, even though doing so risked damaging the surface. Fortunately, the road had already dried enough so that the only damage was a few surface tread marks. As of this evening (9:00pm),  the road is still in very good shape, although the westmost 1/4 mile has not yet been graded or compacted.

                In the interim hours, RoadPacker CEO Michael McDermott consulted with his chemists in Canada, and their view was that the road will not adquately cure until the nightime/daytime freeze-thaw cycles abate in the spring. As a temporary measure, therefore, RoadPacker plans to install (tomorrow afternoon or the next day) two inches of gravel/basecourse on the surface of the finished part of the road from Rte 285 to Silver Saddle. The basecourse will prevent the road surface becoming slippery until the Spring, when the weather is warmer. At that time, the Roadpacker team will remove the basecourse because it will no longer be needed. See Mr. McDermott’s email text, below, for more details.

                The area west of Silver Saddle to the RR tracks will be graded and smoothed by the middle of the week. As an experiment, the dirt/clay mixture along this segment will be treated with an anhydrous drying agent, to see if that will accelerate curing even in freezing weather. If it does, then there will be no need for a basecourse covering. If it doesn’t, then that segment will be covered with a basecourse, just like the eastern part of the road. One way or the other, residents will be assured going forward of a smooth drivable road.



Text follows of Email from Bob Sherwin, president of RoadPacker NM to the SRRA Board:

Hi Spur Ranch Road Board Members,

The Spring Break Spur Ranch Road BBQ is on!

I have already sent in a reservation to Phat Matt’s BBQ in Las Vegas NM (link below) for a fully catered “Spring Break BBQ” for 100 to 150 people or (however many residents will come) to be held at the Spur Ranch clubhouse facilities (or where ever you would suggest). Regarding the reservation, I suggested March 17th, 24th or 31st so that we could do it on a Saturday afternoon. What are your thoughts on the date and place for the BBQ? (Great idea Al). We will have RoadPacker Hats for all the SRR Board members. (How many hats would you like?)

With regard to our infamous Spur Ranch road, here is our plan going forward.

We are presently speaking with gravel suppliers and hauling companies for deliveries beginning possibly as early as tomorrow. I will email you back once we have finalized the arrangements with the hauling companies and pinned down the delivery time. We are going to bring in 800 tons of base course to place on the surface (courtesy of Michael McDermott) while our road is drying and curing. What we have determined conclusively is that... when RoadPacker ionic soil stabilization is installed in freezing temperatures, the curing process will be extended until such time as the ground temperatures are above freezing (day and night time) for at least 4-5 days in a row. The moisture is being trapped below the surface due to freezing temperatures at night, preventing the moisture from being expelled by the chemical reaction and daytime warming. This will continue until we are above freezing temperatures day and night. Once the water is out of all of the voids and crevices, the clay particles will be bound so closely together that the road from that time on, will be water repellent as there will be no openings for the water to get in. It won’t matter how much it rains in the future, the road will remain rock hard, smooth and there will be no more than a tire track when it is wet. The RoadPacker and RoadBond roads in New Zealand are under rain during the rainy season for 6 months in a row and they hold up perfectly!

In spite of the cold temperatures, I think everyone has noticed and would agree, that when the road is dry, it is an extremely hard surface, with no wash-boarding and a reduction in the dust by at least 90%! The problem then becomes keeping people down to 30 miles per hour as it is easy to do 40 mph because of the smooth surface. Frankly, I have never been on a better dirt road when it is dry. That is how it will be year round once it has cured.

Your road is going to dry out and cure over the next couple of months, when the temperatures are above freezing which will most likely be in March. It will continue to get harder and harder for another 9 months after the initial curing has occurred. Once this occurs you will have a water repellent, rock hard surface with no washboards. In the mean time, we want you to be safe and not  have any issues when it rains or snows with the road. The solution to providing traction and avoiding mud is to bring in basecourse for the top surface of the road. In the spring time when the road is cured and hard at all times, we will come back and remove the base course to return you to a smooth, hard, dust free RoadPacker surface. We will use that base course to fix every driveway and intersection along Spur Ranch Road. We will also do the necessary re-seeding to the disturbed areas at that time.

I hope this explains everything for you and the Spur Ranch Road neighbors.

Special thanks to all the SRR volunteers who so graciously put in so much time as flagmen and traffic control coordinators. You guys are incredible and we are very grateful to your time, services and energy. Thank you Richard Roybal and your entire crew at Pure Bred Construction for your hours and hours of hard work. Also, thank you Michael McDermott for providing the RoadPacker Plus and base course for Spur Ranch Road, Act II.

I know you will be very happy with your new road once we get into warmer weather.


The entire RoadPacker, Southwest team,

Bob & Denice Sherwin


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