Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spur Ranch Road Update 07_24_2012

Dear Neighbors,

The weed spraying of the Russian thistle (tumbleweed) along the road has now been completed. RT is a hard plant to kill, so we’re crossing our fingers to see how successful the spraying will be. We should know in a few days. Many thanks to SRRA director Susie Schoenfeld and her hubby Bill for lending us their ATV and spraying equipment, as well as many hours of their labor. Also, SRRA director Al Webster and my wife Carole pitched in to help spray.


A culvert across SRR to improve road drainage will be installed in the next few days a few hundred yards East of the Rosa Linda turnoff. We asked a retired road engineer in Eldorado for a second opinion in locating the culvert to maximize its effectiveness, but the road grade is very slight in that area, so there’s some uncertainty about the exact location of the lowest part of the road. If we miss it by a couple of hundred feet, we believe we can compensate by altering the side ditches slightly to focus the water flow.  Interestingly, the culvert is intended to alleviate road washout about a quarter mile to the East, near Calle Junipero. The idea is that water that would normally flood across the road will be carried by side ditches down the road to the culvert.


It should only take a couple of hours to install the culvert, but we have a short bypass detour for traffic using the road during this time.




Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Spur Ranch Road - Road Spraying Delay

Dear Neighbors,

One of our volunteers sprained his back, so we’re delaying our assault on the Russian thistle for a few days, probably until Friday, pending favorable weather.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Spur Ranch Road Update 07_16_2012

Dear Neighbor,

The disturbed soil resulting from the construction along our road during the past months has resulted in an invasion of Russian thistle (Salsola tragus), known to most of us as tumbleweed. Russian thistle is a highly invasive noxious weed, first introduced into the United States in 1873 by Russian immigrants as a contaminant in flax seed. After its introduction, it spread by contaminated agricultural seeds, threshing crews, livestock railroad cars and, of course, by its unique method of windblown seed dissemination. Today, Russian thistle is estimated to infect 100 million acres in the Southwestern U.S. Unless controlled, it quickly chokes out all native plants.


Starting tomorrow (Tuesday), weather permitting, SRRA will be spraying Russian thistle along Spur Ranch Road in an effort to control its dissemination onto residents’ properties. The chemical used to be used is diquat dibromide and prometon. Studies from Ohio State University, North Dakota State University and the California Department of Agriculture, all of which have tested this product, indicate that it effectively controls of Russian thistle for up to a year. The spraying will be done by hand, targeting individual weed plants, in order to minimize any environmental impact on the surrounding area, and the sprayed region will be only along the road right-of-way. If you own property adjacent to the road and do not wish your segment of the road to be sprayed, then please email me or call me immediately at 466-8833.


Thanks very much.



Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Spur Ranch Road Update-4 July 2012

Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday, we completed the maintenance on the 1.5 mile segment of Spur Ranch Road between the RR tracks and Avenida de los Compadres. That part of the road was graded, watered, and compacted (at double the cost of grading), so we hope the treatment will last appreciably longer than has been our experience with grading alone. (The recent rain helped us considerably.) The segment East of Calle Junipero has noticeably less gravel on it than the rest of the road, so that portion of the road probably will develop washboarding more quickly than the rest of the road. But for now, the entire road is in very good shape and eminently drivable.


Additionally, we have a new SRRA board member, Susan Schoenfeld (who lives in Rosa Linda). Susie has graciously agreed to complete the term of our SRRA Secretary, Kerry Armour, who had to step down from board because of the crush of other commitments. Kerry has been a tireless worker on all our behalf, and her efforts have been greatly appreciated.


Finally, if you have not already done so, let me urge you to please pay your SRRA dues. We are a volunteer organization and depend on the good will of the community to keep our road in good condition. Payments can be made to our Treasurer, Bob Holzer (4 Camino San Lucas), to me (102 Spur Ranch Road), or to any of the board members (Al Webster, Ron Billingsley, and Susie Schoenfeld).


Many thanks and happy 4th!


Monday, July 2, 2012

West End Grading


You may have noticed that grading, watering and rolling has begun on Spur Ranch Road from the tracks west. Half of the distance will be graded today and the remainder will be graded and the entire length watered and rolled tomorrow. It is anticipated that the entire project will be completed by the end of the work day on Tuesday, 3 July.   Please be aware that the grader and trucks are working on the road and drive accordingly; there is room for a single car to pass or meet the grader during the project. Drive carefully.

Please be aware that there may be rocks graded up onto the road bed and drive slowly and avoid the rocks.  There will be no large rocks on the roadbed at the completion of the project.

Following the completion of this project 30 mph signs will be erected.  If speeds can be significantly  reduced on that section of the road it is anticipated that  the recurrent wash boarding will be significantly reduced. It will take all of us to work toward that goal.

Al Webster
SRRA Board member