Your Road Dues At Work
We are about to commence Regular Maintenance work for the 2006 Season. We have been awaiting the apparent end of this season's rain, which gave us no useful breaks from December through mid April.
the patience of all Owners in tolerating the conditions of the road for
the last three months. As you are all aware, it is neither practical nor
environmentally healthy to perform work on the roads during the rainy
season. Equipment operations on a road during rains do much more damage
Thus when we have road damage such as that occurring last December, followed by months of rain, there is little we can do but wait for a dry spell to repair the road.
Again, thanks to everyone for their patience in traversing the bad spots this winter.
The Master Plan
All Long Term Maintenance is occurring according to the Road Master Plan that was developed in 2002 - 2003. That plan is intended for implementation over a 5 - 8 year period (3 of which have already passed) depending on available resources.
The plan is self funded with our own resources as the organizational requirements of public funding go beyond the scope of the Association.
The plan has resulted in substantial improvements to the road when compared to the condition at the time the current Committee was elected.
The work generally addresses the most critical areas of the road in any given year. Thus projects may not get fully completed for any given area of road in a single season. Instead we must spread resources over several seasons so that the overall road improves and we stay on top of regular maintenance.
In this manner we combine regular maintenance tasks with Long Term tasks so that we can actually improve the road each year while keeping the overall road serviceable.
The alternate approach, in which we fully improve a given section of road, would deplete resources and force us into a "Deferred Maintenance" method, in which other sections of the road were allowed to deteriorate until we could fund full improvements. This is not only poor practice, but would result in increased road failures.
The plan initiates work with the following priorities for improvement of any given section of road:
1. Make initial grading adjustments to a road section to reduce berms
and facilitate side flow of all waters occurring on the road surface.
This can be done easily and thus a larger section of road can receive
initial incremental improvements over the base condition.
This process has resulted in substantial improvements and stabilization to the following areas:
3 Level Improvements:
2 Level Improvements
1 Level Improvements
the gap (mile 3.5) to the Big Iron Gate.
Work will be limited to surface adjustments for drainage. Armor at critical curves will occur in the 2007 season as part of a larger armor project.
This section has been one of the poor performers in regular winter; it performed better this year to the first phase of adjustments made last year. This work will stabilize it to the point that almost no maintenance other than a grading pass will e be required for at least five years.
Tombs Creek Bridge to Lower Snot Hill
This will be designed to prevent upslope drainage from crossing the road where the bases consists of the grey material (that material being expansive and susceptible to failure when over-saturated.)
Corner to the Gap (.75 - 3.5 mile)
Snot Hill (6.5 - 7.5)
Ranch (4.5 - 5.5)
Please be advised that there will be equipment operating on the road. None of the work will result in road closure. All sections of the road will remain passable at all times.
2005-2006 Road Damage
As reported in January, there are several instances of damage that occurred as a result of the severe rains in December.
These include three key events:
Current Repair Plans:
Now that the drainages above the small culverts have been flushed, we have about three years before we should expect additional problems with these culverts. Thus we should accumulate resources for replacement of these over the next two years and begin replacement no later than the 2007 season of at least 10 of the smallest pipes.
(Note that these are old drill pipes ranging from 8 to 16 inches that were used as culverts in the original road construction. They will be replaced with minimum 24" galv. pipe.)
of foundation components at the roads current location. This will be based
on whether the slope appears to stabilize and sinking has ceased. The
advantage of this method is low cost and expedience.
Snot Hill Mud Flow
The cause occurs up slope as a result of drainage concentration below another section of the road. This area will require stabilization and armor.
Since the ongoing Long Term surface improvements to the overall road are also critical in nature, we don't want to disrupt or delay that work by using regular dues for these one-time repairs.
We would rather keep on track with the Long Term Improvements, and make these repairs out of a special assessment.
We will advise the owners soon as to the amount of that assessment. We expect it to be in the range of $500 - $750 per parcel.
Again we appreciate your patience as we solve these problems.
In the mean time the road appears stable and usable for all access purposes. The slip on Lower Snot Hill poses the most pressing need and we are assessing that at the present time.
Farnsworth Timber Harvest
Earl Farnsworth (Parcel 7) is planning to conduct a Timber Harvest on his property this season. The Plan has been reviewed by the various state agencies and appears to be approved. Where appropriate, neighboring properties have been notified.
Mr. Farnsworth has submitted to the Road Association copies of conditions of approval from various agencies that make reference to the condition of the Wickersham Road and suggesting that that road shall be improved prior to the commencement of Timber Operations.
These comments fail to recognize either the work that has been done on the road or the fact that the underlying inspections were conducted during the rainy season after a very severe winter left numerous impacts on the road; and prior to any repairs for those impacts that are already scheduled. Thus we suggest the Owners take these comments with an adequate grain of salt.
To avoid misinterpretation I would like to make our position regarding road maintenance clear in order to prevent any misconception on the part of the Owners or the Timber Operator.
The Road Association's sole purpose is to provide maintenance on the Wickersham Road for the following needs:
It is not the responsibility of the Road Association to prepare the road for an industrial operation in order to make that operation more profitable for the owner.
To be clear, none of the work we are initiating at this time is intended to benefit the Timber Harvest. That work is part of our ongoing Long Term improvement plan for the road as a whole.
We have indications from Mr. Farnsworth that there is an expectation that the Road Association should make additional improvements to the Road prior to the Timber Harvest. There are recommendations included in the documentation issued to Mr. Farnsworth that he should work with his neighbors to secure public funding for road improvements.
Mr. Farnsworth is welcome to pursue that, however, those recommendations were based on the misinformation that there are no improvements already underway.
It remains the Associations position that we continue with the current Master Plan to substantially improve the road over the next several years, as we have been doing for the last three years.
If the Farnsworth Timber Plan requires immediate improvements, those improvements should be undertaken by the Timber Operator at the expense of that Owner.
The Road Association will be happy to entertain a collaborative effort in which Mr. Farnsworth combines resources with ours to perform more extensive work this year. Those resources would be used to increase the scope of work of our current Vendor to cover more of the road area. The selected tasks would then be coordinated between the Road Associations goals and any requirements the Mr. Farnsworth must satisfy.
would not allow that collaboration to decrease the work we are planning
to perform in favor of Mr. Farnsworth's requirements. We do not believe
that the Association should accelerate our current plan for the benefit
of an individual Timber Harvest.
Regular Road Use Reminder
The following is the regular reminder about use of the Road. Please share this with all guests and vendors.
We seem to be having increasing problems with guests. This may be the result of so many new Owners and a lack of familiarity with the methods for inviting strangers to remote properties. Many guests who are not familiar with rural lands unconsciously assume that all roads are public. It is important that all Owners make sure their guests understand that they are traveling on private property.
For those who invite guest up to the ranch to hunt, it is very important that those guests fully understand the extents of your property and is clear that they may not hunt on other properties (regardless of the fact that the pigs just keep running out in front of them...).
Additionally, many members of the road association prefer to have both the gates locked as a means to further ensure that strangers do not inadvertently (or otherwise) wander back into the ranch.
who do keep the gate locked, the road clean and always have a smile when
passing, thanks from the Committee and from the owners at the front ranches.
Ranch Mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org
Ranch Website "http://www.wickershamranch.com"
Thanks to Tami Bobb for her efforts in sharing space on her personal ranch site for our benefit.