Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Spur Ranch Road Update

Dear Neighbors,

It's been awhile since I've updated you on the status of our road, but actually quite a lot has been happening. I won't go into details here, but want to give you the highlights:


1. The SRRA directors have been in regular contact throughout the summer with Bob Sherwin, the distributor responsible for the RoadPacker section of our road (Rte 285 to the RR tracks). Over the past months, Mr. Sherwin  has reorganized his company into a manufacturing operation, which is called Bionic Soil Solutions (www.BionicSoilSolutions.com). Rather than import the chemicals from Canada, as before, he and his collegues now manufacture a similar product in Albuquerque. His partners include two senior engineers and scientists, with long experience with RoadPacker and similar road stabilizers. According to Mr. Sherwin, they now understand why our road has not been properly water resistant. Accordingly, they have reformulated the product to account properly for the pH of our alkaline soil (the original Canadian formula was for an acidic soil), and also added a key "hydrophobic" chemical to enhance water resistance. Lab tests on the improved product have shown great water resistance, with the chemical composition chosen specifically to match the SRR soil. Mr. Sherwin says we are his company's "highest priority" and has pledged to complete work on our road within the next  two or three weeks (shortly before or after Thanksgiving). His plan is to use a newly acquired road machine which will mill (i.e., grind up) the top 4 inches of the road, stirring in gravel and the newly formulated product into the base. He assures us that new product is fully compatible with any residual RoadPacker chemicals already on the road, and that the nighttime temperatures will not be a problem. Obviously, we are keeping our fingers crossed that all will go well and will inform you when we have specifics. We don't know yet whether there will be necessary traffic controls or closures.


2. Some of you may recall seeing last year a yellow public notice on the north side of SRR near Rte 285 saying that the property owners were in tax arrears. We have it on good authority that four lots on the northeast end of SRR (lots 2-5, where lot 1 is the corner lot) have now been acquired by developer Joe Miller, who intends to build four houses on them. We have no other information about Mr. Miller's plans, but obviously we will keep close watch on the developments.


3. The west side of SRR (from the RR tracks to Compadres) is showing deterioration, with especially bad washboarding on the segment from the RR tracks to just west of Calle Junipero. That segment has no remaining basecourse, so that regrading is not effective. Fortunately, the rest of the western end of the road still has an adequate  basecourse and is holding up reasonably well.  The SRRA directors discussed the road's condition at a meeting last Wednesday. We don't have the budget to install new basecourse on the entire road, but are looking at doing bits at a time, in the worst spots, as funds become available. In the meantime, _please_  observe the 30 mph speed limit on the road (notice the new speed limit signs), because faster traffic greatly accelerates the road's deterioration.


4. At the meeting last week, the SRRA directors approved a dues schedule for next year (2013). The recommended amounts are the same as for 2012, namely $200 for Tierra Colinas residents and residents east of the RR tracks, $275 for residents west of the RR tracks, and $100 for lot owners. We will send out reminder notices after the first of the year.




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