Calhoun cutoff

County Road 32, also known as the "Calhoun cutoff," turns from pavement to gravel near County Road P35.

The Washington County Board of Supervisors learned about the potential costs to complete the paving of County Road 32, also known as the “Calhoun cutoff.”

Bids were opened for the project during the board's July 9 meeting. However, the board voted to table awarding the project until all bids could be reviewed by Speece-Lewis Engineers.

The bid amounts were:

• Luxa Construction, Blair, $4.4 million, start date October and finish in October 2020

• Cedar Valley Paving, Waterloo, Iowa, $3.9 million, unknown start date and finish Oct. 15, 2020

• Graham Construction, Omaha, $4.3 million, start date Oct. 7 and finish Sept. 10, 2020

Tim Farmer with Speece-Lewis said the engineer's estimate was $3.55 million.

“Given the climate, that's probably low due to everybody's workload and the materials being in high demand at this time,” he said.

Supervisor Lisa Kramer, District 2-Kennard, asked if the work would be done under traffic or if the road would be closed.

Highway Superintendent Bill Hansel said the road would need to be closed.

“But they have to provide access to the residents,” he said.

Hansel previously told supervisors the county could pay to complete the 3.2-mile stretch of road from state Highway 133 to County Road P35 over the next two fiscal years with funds currently available and funds provided from state for road and bridge projects, which total approximately $3.2 million.

If the county doesn't move forward with the project, it risks losing federal funds received to purchase the right of ways. The county would have to repay $148,000 if the project is not at least started this year.

An initial total cost for completing the road had been estimated between $4 million and $7 million. The cost to move utilities was approximately $800,000.

But with the relaxation of standards, which was approved April 19, the county could save $1.8 million, according to Hansel.

Paving of the initial 2.5 miles of the road began in 1999. Since then, funding to finish the final portion had repeatedly been an issue.

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