Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spur Ranch Road Update-Thurs_04_19_2012

Dear Neighbor,

The brief rain this afternoon dumped 0.17 inches of water on our road. Immediately after the rain stopped, SRRA director Al Webster and I made “skid tests” along the length of the road (jamming on brakes suddenly to see if the surface was slippery) and generally to check out the impact of the water on traction and drivability. This was the first precipitation we’ve had since the new gravel was distributed across the road and compressed down into the surface, a couple of weeks ago.

Basically, the road seemed to hold up well, except for a few slightly slippery spots at the crest of the hill where the surface looked somewhat bare, with minimal surface gravel. Even those spots were drivable, however, and we observed traffic moving normally.

We could easily see tire tread marks where we drove, but we saw the same thing on the new basecourse road on Silver Saddle, which we checked out for comparison. We also repeated the skid tests on the basecourse part of SRR west of the RR tracks and it seemed about the same as the Roadpacker part

We won't really know for certain how the road holds up until we get a sustained rain.  I'd say things look promising at this point, but no definite conclusions yet. I think it's desirable for residents to drive on the road when it's wet, because that pushes the gravel down into the surface. Just be careful near areas which have very little gravel.







Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spur Ranch Road Update: Sunday 04_08_2012

Dear Neighbors,

           As you have surely noticed, most of the new gravel delivered in the past few days is now spread across the surface of our road, rather than being mixed down inside the road base, where it belongs. On Monday, therefore, the surface of the road will be doused with water and a special hydraulic roller will press the gravel down into the base material.  (The familiar steel roller won’t work for this application, because the sticky road base sticks to the roller, pulling up clumps of the road.) This procedure will likely take a day or two.  If you want to see what the end result should look like, check out the short test segment of road adjacent to the turnoff into Rancho San Lucas.


I’ve given up trying to predict completion times for the roadwork, but will keep you apprised if the work schedule threatens to move into Wednesday.



Friday, April 6, 2012

Spur Ranch Road Update - 7:00a.m. Friday 4_06_2012

Dear Neighbors,

I know this will come as a shock, but the construction crew didn’t make its completion deadline yesterday and needs to continue working on the road today. On the plus side, the work seems to be going well, with the western half of the road nicely graded and shaped. If you drive the road today, you’ll likely encounter a grader, water truck, and roller, so be careful. Better yet, I recommend you forego that pleasure and instead take Avenida de las Compadres.



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spur Ranch Road Update 9:30 pm - 04_04_2012

Dear Neighbors,

As you’ve probably noticed, Spur Ranch Road is easily drivable again. The road rework should be completed tomorrow, and with a bit of luck this ordeal will be behind us. Here’s what’s been happening:

Throughout the day, many dump trucks delivered gravel (about 800 tons of it) and distributed it along the road. The new grader showed up about 10 a.m. and spent the day mixing the new gravel in with the top few inches of road material (the slippery surface mush plus another inch or so of the hard sub-base). At the end of the day, the grader scooped up this mixture and piled it in a long “wind row” along the side of the road.  This left nearly two lanes of the road with a smooth dry base open for traffic during the night.

Tomorrow (Thursday), the grader will distribute the mixture back over the road surface, to a depth of several inches, and shape and crown the road. A water truck will be used to bring the mix up to the correct water concentration, and then a ten-ton roller will compact the surface. This procedure will probably take most of the day, but when it is completed the road will be finished and immediately usable. The engineers believe this compacted mix will be water resistant, with good wet-weather traction. In short, they believe it will be the permanent solution we have been patiently waiting for.

                 We are not planning on having flaggers at the ends of the road tomorrow, so drivers will have to exercise common sense to avoid construction vehicles and oncoming traffic. If possible, we encourage you to use Avenida de las Compadres. We checked the condition of Compadres this afternoon and it is bumpy but dry and quite drivable, even with 2WD vehicles. That said, I wouldn’t drive your Maserati or other low-clearance car along it.

                So basically, we need to hang in there for one more day, and then life should be back to normal.



SRRA Annual Open Meeting 31-MAR-2012

Meeting Called to Order by SRRA President Jim Garland 

Voting Members in attendance: Sharon Pederson, officer from TCHOAm, representing 35 vote and EJ Jennings for RSLHOA, representing 29 votes. Additional 21 persons were in attendance. 

Bob presented our budget...we have $1713.40 still in the bank. Mostly due to not having to plow this year.

Al presented Road Situation and history of process and all that has happened. Confidently presented that the material is indeed curing.

Jim announced proposal to change bylaws giving lot owner a 1/2 vote and 1/2 monetary responsibility. One attendee felt that lot owners are still benefiting so they should probably still have a full vote and $ responsibility

2012 Budget Proposal: 
  • Jim Garland presented voluntary budget
  • Budget reflects best guess expenses expected and kitty for future.
  • Dues formula based entirely on need for funds with weight based on lot v. home and east/west of tracks.
  • Presented breakdown of lots homes and HOA sizes
  • Discussed line items line by line gave rationale for each.
  • Discussed 60% participation and its effect on assessment this year and next
Budget Proposal:

The SRRA directors have assessed the condition of the road and are proposing the following maintenance and improvement steps for 2012:
1. Install a culvert west of Calle Juniper where the road washed out last year
2. Grade three times between the RR tracks and Avenida de los Compadres
3. Grade one time the dirt road extension from Compadres to the stables
4. Plow twice for snow removal (entire road)
Our estimated budget for these steps, which include funds for liability insurance, miscellaneous and contingency expenses, and a $4000 contribution to a reserve fund (to rebuild the road in a decade) is $11,800. In order to raise the revenue, we propose the following base 2012 assessments for homeowners and lot owners:
1. Homes & businesses east of the RR tracks (including Tierra Colinas): $200/ea
2. Homes & businesses west of the RR tracks (except those in Tierra Colinas): $275/ea
3. Lot owners (all): $100/ea
Carole Garland motioned to vote Anne Bitter seconded Tallies:
TCHOA Yes 37 votes
RSL HOA Yes 29 votes
Silver Saddle Yes 4 votes
Rosa Linda Yes 4 votes
Carole and Jim plus 2 SRR resident proxies Yes 3 votes

Unanimous acceptance of budget. Meeting adjourned and BBQ supplied by Road Packer SouthWest President, Bob Sherwin was then enjoyed by all.

Spur Ranch Road - 7:00 a.m. Update 04_04_2012

Good morning,

Spur Ranch Road at 7:00 a.m. has improved over yesterday. It is still slippery, but if  you hold your speed to 15 mph, stay away from the sides, and are very cautious passing road machinery, you shouldn’t have any trouble. Volunteer flaggers are on duty at each end of the road and will give drivers updated information as it becomes available.


No word yet, on Avenida de las Compadres, so it’s probably best avoided at this point.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spur Ranch Road - Evening Update 04_03_2012

Dear Neighbor,

As of 8:00 p.m., there is a light snow falling, but SRR is passable (but slippery) for westbound traffic. Eastbound traffic is more problematic, mostly because the road is uphill part of the way. Nevertheless, many 2WD cars have gone both directions along the road throughout the day. My advice is to stay off the road if at all possible during the dark hours. By morning, the road condition will have improved, provided we don’t get much more rain tonight. Incidentally, we have received 0.65 in of rain (or melted snow) in the past 24 hours.

The SRRA Board met for an hour with Bob Sherwin this evening. Mr. Sherwin reported that he has now discussed our situation with a senior technical and engineering advisor who is an expert on the RoadPacker process. Although the details of a solution are still being worked out, the recommended approach now is to mix an aggregate material (e.g., basecourse, gravel, etc.) with the top several inches of the slurry that has formed on the road. The aggregate will provide both strength and traction to the road surface, analogous to the way that gravel and sand provide strength in concrete. With luck this treatment may turn out to be a permanent solution.

Tomorrow morning at about 7:00 a.m., a road crew will begin implementing this procedure, which will take most of the day to complete (if all goes according to schedule). Volunteers will be stationed through the morning hours at Rte. 285 and the RR tracks to advise drivers of the road condition.

By late this afternoon, Avenida de las Compadres had deteriorated significantly and was in worse condition than Spur Ranch Road. We’ll check that road out in the morning to see if it has dried out enough to sustain traffic, but until you hear otherwise it is best avoided.

I’m really sorry for all the inconvenience this entire experience has caused our community. There have been a number of missteps and proposed solutions that haven’t worked, and none of us could be blamed for losing patience.  On the positive side, however, the distributor seems determined to see this experiment through to a successful conclusion, and for that, at least, we should all be appreciative.



Spur Ranch Road - Noon Update 04_03_2012

Dear Neighbor,

Spur Ranch Road is still quite slippery, with volunteers stationed at the RR tracks encouraging eastbound drivers to use Avenida de las Compadres. Reports are that Compadres is driveable, with caution. Westbound traffic coming from Rte 285 along SRR is having an easier time and is being cautioned but not turned away.

A road grader arrived earlier this morning to clear away the slush on the road surface, but shortly after arriving blew its engine and had to be hauled away. A replacement grader is on its way, but will not arrive until about 2:30pm.  With any luck, none of which we’ve had so far today, the road should be driveable by the end of the work day.

A temporary measure being considered is to mix gravel/basecourse in with the slushy road surface to improve traction. This is a slightly different approach from that done a month ago, in which basecourse was distributed over the dry road. Clearly, this original approach did not work for very long because traffic just pulverized the basecourse, which then blew away.

I’ll keep everybody posted, as more information becomes available. As mentioned previously, the SRRA Board is meeting tonight at 7pm.


Spur Ranch Road Update -9:45am 04_03_2012

Dear Neighbor,

Spur Ranch Road continued to deteriorate during the night and as of 9:45am is extremely slippery. Some traffic is moving slowly, but drivers are sliding and having difficulty. As of now, nobody has reported being hopelessly stuck off the side of the road, but there have been some close calls.


The surface deterioration now seems to be roughly an inch. The loss of traction occurs because the clay-rich surface material clogs tire treads, causing tires to lose nearly all their traction. Obviously the assurance we received from the RoadPacker group that the surface would cure after a period of above-freezing temperatures has not been realized.


I have been in contact with Bob Sherwin this morning. The grader has arrived moments ago and will start clearing the slush, so the road should be passable within an hour or so. I’ll send an update later this morning.


The SRRA directors are meeting this evening to discuss a course of action. Obviously, we have to find both an immediate solution, as well as a long-term solution for this problem before the monsoon season arrives.


Re: Spur Ranch Road Update - 10:00pm 04-02-2012

To All:  8:00 AM Tuesday!
Do Not drive on Spur Ranch Road if at all possible, it is all but impassable.  I barely
 made it in my 3/4 ton Pickup at 5 MPH in 4 wheel low.  The road is dangerous in the present condition.  Tire tracks of people before me reveal several were spinning out.  When are we going to get results instead of excuses  from the Contractor?????
From: Jim Garland <>
Sent: Monday, April 2, 2012 9:57 PM
Subject: Spur Ranch Road Update - 10:00pm 04-02-2012

Dear Neighbor,
Bob Sherwin evaluated the road condition tonight and reported back to me that the road surface is mostly hard, except for the very top layer (about 1/8 in thick)  of the westernmost segment (between the RR tracks and Silver Saddle). His evidence is that the road is not showing tire tracks, as it did a month ago after it rained. 
Tomorrow morning, he is having a grader scoop up loose gravel from the ditches along this segment of road in order to redistribute it on the surface to ensure traction. The grader will probably arrive in the 8-9 am period, so please be very careful if you drive the road before then. Thanks.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spur Ranch Road Update - 10:00pm 04-02-2012

Dear Neighbor,

Bob Sherwin evaluated the road condition tonight and reported back to me that the road surface is mostly hard, except for the very top layer (about 1/8 in thick)  of the westernmost segment (between the RR tracks and Silver Saddle). His evidence is that the road is not showing tire tracks, as it did a month ago after it rained. 


Tomorrow morning, he is having a grader scoop up loose gravel from the ditches along this segment of road in order to redistribute it on the surface to ensure traction. The grader will probably arrive in the 8-9 am period, so please be very careful if you drive the road before then. Thanks.



Spur Ranch Road Update - 8 p.m. 04/02/2012

Dear Neighbors,

I just checked our road’s condition, to see how the surface has held up with this afternoon’s and evening’s snow. Unfortunately, the news is not good. Although the section of the road between Rt 285 and Silver Saddle is generally in reasonable shape (however, with a few slippery spots), the segment west of Silver Saddle is still very slippery. The gravel installed last month has been ground down by traffic and does not appear to be stabilizing the surface.


Fortunately, that part of the road is level and straight, but drivers must nevertheless go very slowly and exercise great caution. I have notified Bob Sherwin of my finding and will let you know when I hear back from him. Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings.