Minutes - Roads Committee

ECIA Road Committee Meeting Minutes

June 8, 2017


  1. Call to Order: Committee Chair Felicia Probert called the meeting to order at 3:03 pm.
  1. Introductions/Attendees:  Introductions were made around the table.
  • Road Committee Members: Felicia Probert, Karen Murry, Bob Blanchet, Russell Winslow, Fred Raznick, Terry Reilly, and Ken Kleiber.  Excused absence:  John Reynolds
  • ECIA Board Liaison:  Mike McDowell
  • Special Guests:

o     Robert Martinez, Deputy Director, Santa Fe County Public Works

o     Mark Young representing HOAMCO GM Isabel Ugarte

o     Lee Onstott, ECIA Facilities & Grounds Committee

  • Public

o     Walter Gallegos, 37 Encantado Road

o     Sue Shriver, 2 Balsa Ct.

o     Alan Lieberman, 22 Juego Rd.

o     Dr. Mekah Gordon, 22 Juego Rd.

o     John Gervers, 6 Cayuse Place

o     Jim Knight, 53 Cerrado Loop

o     Tom DiRugiero, 5 Demora Road

o     Vahl Jackson, 22 Chusco Road

o     C.M. Kittredge, 4 Verano Way

o     Cecil Rich, 34 Fonda Road

  1. Public Comments: Felicia asked if there were any members of the public present who wished to comment on something other than the asphalt millings project.  None were voiced. 
  1. Modification/Adoption of Agenda:   Approved
  1. Approval of Minutes from March 20, 2017 Meeting: Felicia noted that there was not a quorum of members who attended the March 20th meeting.  Approval tabled for now.   
  1. Chair Comments: Felicia welcomed Mr. Martinez and members of the community for coming out to the meeting and their interest in our roads.  To stay on track and get through our very full agenda, Felicia asked that all follow a few ground rules. 
  • Work through Agenda one question at a time.  Robert will speak first to the question, followed by Committee members, then the members of the public. 
  • Please wait until we get to a specific question before asking any related questions or making comments. 
  • There will be an opportunity at the end to bring up and additional questions that haven’t already been addressed. 
  1. ECIA Board Liaison Report: Mike McDowell introduced himself and advised that at the last annual meeting of the Board, he was appointed as the liaison for the Road Committee.  His role is to facilitate communication between the Committee and the Board. 
  1. Old Business/Open Action Items: None
  1. New Business
  2. Recycled Asphalt Pavement (RAP) Millings Project:
  • Project Background:  In March of this year, Mr. Martinez notified Felicia Probert that Santa Fe County had been approved by NMDOT to receive RAP material that had been reclaimed when the I-25/St. Francis Drive interchange improvement project was completed a few years ago.   Mr. Martinez advised that the County Road Dept. was proposing to use the millings to improve as many roads as possible in Eldorado that incur muddy conditions during the monsoon or winter season.  Mr. Martinez provided a list of approximately 15 miles of Eldorado roads that the County Road Section was recommending be upgraded with the RAP.  The Road Committee reviewed the list and recommended a few additional roads be added to the list based on the results of the Committee’s bi-annual inspections.  The Road Committee advised the ECIA Board of Directors about the proposed millings project and the Board concurred that it would be a cost-effective way to upgrade some of the more problematic roads.  The list of roads to receive the millings was agreed upon in late April. 
  • Even though NMDOT did the work on I-25, it is a federal highway so approval to distribute the RAP to Santa Fe County had to come from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  The County submitted a formal request through NMDOT with a preliminary list of roads that would be improved with the RAP.  Any changes to that list must be re-submitted for approval. 
  • The official term for the millings is recycled asphalt pavement or RAP.  The RAP being applied to Eldorado roads came from the resurfacing of the I-25 / St. Francis interchange a few years ago.   NMDOT donated the RAP to the County to be used to improve County roads.  There is no cost to the County (including the taxpayers) for the material itself.  People will contact the Road Committee about muddy conditions on their roads and request that the County apply some base course, but there just isn’t funding for base course.   What the County has done is apply road mix which is a combination of gravel and sand to harden things up but that is a temporary solution at best in a lot of cases.  The donation of the RAP presents an opportunity to upgrade some of the roads that get bad and have drivability issues when it is wet.
  • RAP consists of ground-up and re-claimed pavement that is mostly the aggregate with fine material and some remaining asphalt that is mostly dried up but still helps hold the material together a little better than base course alone.   New pavement is essentially base course with asphalt mixed in.  Base course without asphalt is loose fill.  
  • Use of RAP has many other advantages including: 
    • o Reduced cost in comparison to new materials.
    • o Sustainability in that material is reused and diverted from landfills.
    • o Less maintenance required.  Asphalt millings requires no refinishing, resurfacing, or replacing. It also hardens over time, strengthening as it goes instead of weakening.
    • o Recycled asphalt pavement gravel is also less susceptible to the elements.  As a bonus, it produces less dust and mud. 
    • o More adaptable to the effects of snow and rain
  • The use of RAP in building projects may be eligible for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits. 
  • Regarding concerns about the aesthetics of the RAP road surface not blending in with the native materials and the approved color palette for our homes, as dust and gravel from driveways and intersecting dirt roads migrates onto the milled roads, the contrast will tone down some from when it is first laid. 
  • Balsa was originally on the list to receive the millings but funding to pave Balsa Road was approved by the voters in the November 2016 general obligation bond election.  It would be a waste of the millings to put them down for a couple of years and then lose them when the paving project begins late 2018 or 2019.
  • The process for applying the RAP includes:
    • o Road crew requests line locates be done to mark the location of utility and water lines.
    • o Existing road surface and bar ditches are graded to re-crown the road surface and re-establish the bar ditches to the depth of the culverts.  In some cases, culverts are cleaned out to direct the run-off to the
    • o RAP is applied loose like gravel then watered and compacted in to create the final surface. 
    • o Road crew requests line locations to prevent cutting of utility lines or cable. 
    • o The dirt road surface is graded to re-establish the crown
    • o Proper drainage is required to maintain a good road surface.  If the bar ditches have filled in or culverts are plugged, water will back up or flow across the road surfaces causing erosion.  The bar ditches must be cleaned out to the “flow line” of the culverts to ensure that there is a positive water flow within the ditch.  If culverts are clogged, the County has a hydro-excavation truck that is used to clean out clogged culverts.    
    • o Plats for Eldorado show drainage easements across some lots to provide a route for water from along the roadways to be routed to the greenbelts. 
    • o After the prep work is complete, the RAP is put down in layers with a road grader followed by water and rolling to pack them down.  The millings are applied to the center of the road first and then worked out to the edge of the road surface as additional layers are added.  The road may appear to be narrower before the RAP is applied all the way to the edge of the driving surface.  The standard width for the drivable road surface on residential roads is 20 feet. 
  • Residents will always have access to their homes with the millings are being applied.  The County will put a message board out about 3 days before work starts on a road to let residents know.  Demora is next after Estambre.   The list of roads to be done is on the ECIA website.  It is in alphabetical order, not the order in which they will be done.  To avoid unnecessary equipment mobilization, all target roads in an area will be completed before moving on to another area.  
  • The County expects to complete application of the RAP this year.  The RAP isn’t weather sensitive so the project can continue into the fall.
  • If the County were to purchase the amount of base course alone to equal the amount of the RAP that is coming at no cost for the material to the County, it would cost about 4 million dollars. The last time that there was any significant amount of funding to improved dirt roads in Eldorado with base course was in 2007 or 2008 when the State legislature approved a capital outlay fund grant of $800,000.  There is currently no plan or funding in place to do that again.  It is difficult to get funding for base course because it is a short-term improvement that lasts for 5-7 years.  General obligation bond (GOB) funds cannot be used because of the 20-year repayment cycle.
  • The County has a 50-foot-wide right-of-way for the residential roads in Eldorado.  It is not an easement from the adjacent property owners for the road, it is a County owned right-of-way.   Anything within the right-of-way is subject to control by the County including mailboxes, signs, and vegetation.   The County tries to take a conservative approach and not remove trees or bushes but will do so if it is blocking the drainage or visibility.  Some trees and bushes may have to be trimmed or removed as the RAP is applied. 
  • The RAP can only be used to resurface the entire road and only those that have been approved by NMDOT.  They aren’t appropriate for the multi-use path.   Also, they aren’t recommended for use on partial section of road at low water crossings or for the aprons because it is difficult to maintain a multi surface road, (e.g. dirt and millings).  After the millings project is complete, the County may be able to spend more time on the aprons that tend to pothole and rut faster than the rest of a road because of a driver’s tendency to accelerate/de-accelerate more in the transition zone.  Don’t be afraid to let us know where there are problems with aprons. 
  • No speed bumps will be installed on the RAP surface roads.  The use of traffic calming measures like speed bumps is addressed in the County’s traffic calming policy.  Speed bumps are only used on paved residential roads.  A copy of the County’s traffic calming policy is available at on the ECIA Website under the Road Committee. 
  • There is a full-time crew assigned to Eldorado doing a variety of road maintenance tasks including repairing potholes, mowing, and re-grading roads as necessary.  Salary and equipment costs for the crew is budgeted on an annual basis.   Any maintenance of the RAP surface roads in Eldorado will be done by the road crew as part of their normal duties at no added cost.
  • The County expects that the roads with RAP surface will hold up better than either base course or dirt surfaces and require less grading to maintain.  This will free up time for the road crews that will allow them to more properly address a pothole or washout. 
  • If a RAP surfaced road develops potholes, the County will repair it by scarifying, re-grading, and recompacting as necessary.  The County doesn’t plan to stockpile the millings for small repairs.  Potholes will be repaired by re-grading.  
  • RAP is expected to get harder and more compacted in time with use. 
  • There are other roads in the County that will upgraded with the RAP.  Jericho Road off Old Santa Fe Trail was the first road the County used the RAP on. 
  • Regarding the potential environmental impacts to air and water quality from the RAP and an analysis of the makeup:
    • o According to page 159 of a study completed by the Florida Department of Transportation in 2003; “The environmental evaluation indicated that RAP poses no environmental concerns when used as a highway material. The concentrations of heavy metals were well below the EPA standards. Samples were taken over a 12-month period and subjected to four different environmental testing procedures. All four yielded the same conclusions, indicating that the testing program was valid.” 
    • o A 2017 report from the National Asphalt Paving Association (NAPA) states: “Regarding runoff or leachate from RAP, it is well documented that leachate or runoff from RAP storage is not problematic due to asphalt pavement’s inert quality. For example, Kriech et al. (2002) conducted a laboratory study to determine, according to EPA methods, the detectable levels of 29 PAHs in leachate water from six paving asphalt and four roofing asphalt samples. The study found that half of the paving samples leached no detectable level of the 29 PAHs; three samples had detectable levels of naphthalene and phenanthrene, but well below drinking water limits.” 

Copies of both documents are available under the Road Committee section of the ECIA website. 

  • Regarding the impact to drivability and increased speeding on RAP surface road versus dirt - It is not the type of road surface per se that encourages speeding, it is the smoothness of the surface.  People will speed on a freshly graded dirt road until the washboard builds back up to slow them down.  Because the milled roads aren’t likely to washboard, speeding may be a bigger problem.  The County is required to follow the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices when it comes to setting a speed limit.  Speed limits cannot be arbitrarily set. For residential roads in Eldorado, the speed limit is 25 mph.    Fifteen mph speed limits are allowed in school zones only.  The speed limit is only as good as its enforceability.  Twenty-five mph is a reasonable speed limit.  The key is to enforce it.   The Sheriff’s office needs to be made aware of the trouble spots and issues so that they can increase patrols. 
  1. Process for Evaluating Paved Roads for Maintenance or Re-Paving
  • The County evaluates all the paved roads using the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER) system.  Roads are given a rating of 1(fail) to 10 (newly paved).  The average rating for paved County roads is about 6.5 (good condition), higher than the national average.  Over the last six years, Santa Fe County has done a good job of doing pavement preservation on many of the paved roads while they are still in good condition so that they don’t deteriorate to the point of needing a much costlier total replacement.  For every $1 invested in pavement preservation $10 in replacement costs is delayed.   In studying the issue, the 4.8 million spent on pavement preservation of 188 miles of County roads, saved the County taxpayers 50 million in pavement replacement costs.  A road that has deteriorated to a PASER score of 1 – 3 will have to be replaced.
  1. Multi-use paths and walkability:
  • Facilities and Grounds handles the multi-use path system in Eldorado.  They have the master plan of where multi-use paths will be built.  
  • New requests to build a multi-use should be included in the master plan. 
  • The County doesn’t automatically include a path when building a road. 
  • In some cases, like Herrada, there isn’t enough room in the right-of-way to include a path.  But along the major arteries like Avenida Vista Grande where there is currently a multi-use path, the right-of-way was wide enough to include it. 
  • In setting priorities for paving project, the ECIA should make the County aware of what roads that they would like to have a multi-use path built in conjunction with a road.   
  • Multi-use paths will increase the cost of projects and that needs to be taken into consideration.
  • The County code defines different road types, such as rural and urban.  The roads in Eldorado are rural so you aren’t going to see sidewalks, curbs, bike lanes, etc. like you might see on an urban road. 


  1. Update on Ave Amistad/ Ave Buena Ventura Chip Sealing Project:
  • Ave. Amistad is scheduled for 2018.   Ave. Buena Ventura is scheduled for fall 2017.  Ave. Amistad was rescheduled for next year due to the grant agreement being frozen.  The freeze was lifted June 6 but not in time for 2017 project bid schedule. 
  1. Committee Round Robin:
  • Concerns were expressed about waddle removal on Herrada Rd damaging road edges. 
  • Compadres is losing its’ base.
  • Wildflower Conservation Zone on West Herrada Rd is going well.  The County is picking up the bagged bar ditch waste.
  1. Next meeting TBA

Meeting Adjourned 4:50pm.