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San Miguel Structure

This project was a joint RPMC and Sandoval County Roads Division project. The goal of the project was to rebuild and improve a 25-year-old structure that was in the final stages of failing. The structure, essentially a long steel beam, had been erected as part of stream channel stabilization just below the bridge along County Road 11 (Old Hwy 44) that crosses the San Miguel. During its 25-year lifespan, the beam had very slowly tipped over, rendering it no longer effective.

The failure of this structure presented two problems. It was causing increased erosion and sediment generation, of concern to the Committee and the NM Environment Department. In addition, it was also weakening support for a County Road bridge just upstream of the structure, of concern to the County.

The County work crews dug out and turned the original structure upright and braced the beam to reduce the risk of it tipping over in the future. The work crews also extended the structure with additional lengths of structure steel because the river was cutting around the ends of the original beam. The Cuba Soil & Water Conservation District donated the structural metal, surplus bridge I-beams obtained many years earlier. The crew then backfilled the site and installed approximately 25 cubic yards of large rock at the spillway to protect against undercutting.

Once the County work was complete, the RPMC sponsored a workday. Volunteers and staff planted willows, seeded the banks and uplands to stabilize the area with increased vegetation, and built a fence to keep livestock out of the area.