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The Rancho Verde Story: Part 11 – How is Rancho Verde Developed? Cont

This is the second part of a description of the land development process for Rancho Verde, located in the East Mountains just outside of Tijeras, New Mexico (just 20 minutes from Albuquerque, NM).

With the finalization of the road alignments and lot corner locations for a particular phase of development, the Civil Engineer for the project, Mr. Phil Clark of Clark Consulting Engineers, then prepares the detailed engineering designs for the following:

  • Roads: the design ensures that all aspects of the road conforms to the standards established by the Engineering Department of Bernalillo County. This includes road curvatures, both horizontal and vertical, road width and road composition. The composition of a road is particularly critical as it will determine its long-term durability. This composition starts with what is referred to as the sub-grade preparation which includes the removal of all soil and organic matter such as roots and stumps until suitable material is reached which is either sufficient in itself as sub-grade or can be compacted sufficiently to meet the required compaction specifications. A layer, typically 6” to 8”, of engineered road base course is then spread on the sub-grade and again, compacted by heavy, vibrating machine rollers to specifications—this base course is specifically designed for this purpose and is typically comprised of a mixture of granular sized material such that it will compact (and remain in a compacted state) and provide a structural surface upon which asphalt can be applied. Testing of the sub-grade and base course are done throughout the construction process by a third-party testing firm to ensure that the specified compaction levels are consistently achieved. Asphalt, again designed to a rigid specification and thickness, is then applied, compacted and tested. Finally, center line stripes are applied.


  • Drainage: Given the rare but occasionally very significant intense rainfalls in New Mexico combined with the rocky, dry, hard ground and minimal vegetation it is critical that the flow of surface water be anticipated and provisions made for its collection and conveyance in a safe manner. Thus, Mr. Clark, carefully reviews the existing topography of Rancho Verde and how the roads and lots must be integrated into an overall drainage plan which will include culverts beneath the roads as well as certain areas designated and reserved for either ponding of water flows or simply as areas where the run-off will concentrate during heavy rainfalls. These areas are restricted for building purposes.


  • Water: While the Entranosa Water and Waste Water Co-Operative supplies the water for the residents of Rancho Verde it remains our responsibility to have our project engineer design the pipe lay-outs, fire hydrant locations, tank sizes and locations, valve locations, etc. This design is then reviewed by Entranosa for their approval as they will take over the ownership and operation of the waterworks system in each phase as it is completed.


  • Telephone and Internet: Included in the Engineering design is provision for the installation of piping to permit wire to be installed by Century Link.


  • Electrical: Conduit is installed during construction of each phase such that our electrical sub-contractor can pull in the necessary electrical lines and install a transformer which will service two lots. The design for the electrical has historically been done by PNM which provides electrical power to Rancho Verde. All electrical lines in Rancho Verde are installed below ground for safety, durability and appearance.

Mr. Clark submits his design engineering drawings to Bernalillo County’s engineering department for review, discussion, modification and approval.

Currently,  the mountain community of Rancho Verde has 26 view lots in Phase 4 which are offered for sale, many of which back on to permanently dedicated open space (green space). These lots offer ideal building conditions as they are gently sloping and offer stunning views of the Sandia Mountains together with memorable sunrises and sunsets.