Saturday, August 30, 2014

Spur Ranch Road Final Update 08/30/2014

Dear Neighbors,

     Our roadwork is finally completed and Spur Ranch Road is open for normal traffic. I hope you will find that the end result made the long wait worthwhile. Here are a few things you should know about our new road.  

     The road surface currently is covered with small loose particles, called "fines," and these are what cause the clouds of dust from passing cars. Soon, these fines will blow away (or be washed away by rain), and the dust should be greatly abated. Until the fines wash away, however, the road when wet may be somewhat slippery, so please take that into consideration when you drive it. As the fines diiminish, the traction will improve. The road is still curing, and while normal traffic causes no problems, its strength will significantly increase over the next few weeks.

     Additionally, we have had extra gravel mixed into the road on the segment between Rancho San Lucas and Silver Saddle. This is the part of the road where we have had greatest problems from rain and snow in the past, and the extra gravel will improve the road strength and adhesion.

     We are hopeful this new road will be extremely durable, will resist washboarding, and will require minimal maintenance for several years. We know from lab tests that the new road should be extremely water resistant, with none of the problems experienced with the earlier RoadPacker treatment. However, since this is a new product, we won't really know about the road's long-term durability until we have been through a full year's experience, with snow, rains, freeze-thaw cycles, and heavy traffic. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

     Bob Sherwin, the owner and founder of Bionic Soil Solutions, has honored his pledge to correct the problems associated with our original road nearly three years ago. He has done this at great effort and great cost to his company, but no additional charge to us.  (The one exception has been the extra gravel we asked him to mix into the road, for which we paid $5000.)

     Our new road is so smooth that there will be a temptation to drive fast. We've already noticed delivery trucks and other vehicles speeding along the road. PLEASE resist the temptation to speed and observe the 30 mph posted speed limits. We have bicyclists, horseback riders, children, pedestrians, and many elderly drivers using the road, and we don't want any accidents. Furthermore, we want the road to last a long time, and high speeds greatly exacerbate washboarding and the wear and tear of the road surface.

     Finally, I'd like to acknowledge with gratitude the efforts of our volunteers who helped with traffic management during the past week. The volunteers were Ron Billingsley, Steve Campbell, Carole Garland, Jim Garland, Jake Greene, Bob Hutchins, Henry McCormick, Sue McCormick, Ellie Scott, Michael Scott, and Al Webster. Also, I want to thank Ben Schoenfeld for the many hours he has spent this spring and summer spraying the sides of the roads to help control Russian Thistle and other weeds. Finally, I'd like to thank Mr. Ted Harrison, founder and developer of the Galisteo Basin Preserve,. for donating water for our project at no charge. Ted's helpfulness and community-minded spirit was in marked contrast to that of the officials of the Eldorado Area Water and Santitation District.


Jim Garland, president

Spur Ranch Road Association






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