County Road 32 west of Fort Calhoun.

Washington County could be one step closer to completing the pavement of County Road 32, also known as the “Calhoun cutoff.”

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution stating the county's desire to improve the road from state Highway 133 to County Road P35 with nine inch pavement.

The resolution allows the county to seek a relaxation of the design standards to the vertical alignment to reduce or eliminate the utility relocation costs from the Board of Public Roads Classification and Standards. The request will be made to the state appointed board during its meeting Oct. 19.

Supervisor Lisa Kramer, District 2-Kennard, is a member of that board.

An initial total cost for completing the 3.2-mile stretch of road has been estimated between $4 million to $7 million. The cost to move the utilities is approximately $800,000.

A relaxation of standards would save the county that $800,000. Additional cost savings are not yet known.

The supervisors approved a redesign of the road in June in an effort to lower the price tag. The engineering is not yet completed, but will be ready and presented to the Board of Public Roads, Highway Supt. Bill Hansel said.

“This does not necessitate any urgency with moving forward with pavement, but it does allow us to put in the drainage structures at the depth that the relaxation would allow for and not have to replace them when and if we pave at a later date,” Kramer said.

Drainage culverts along CR 32 are in need of repair. One on the west side of the road is in especially poor condition, Kramer said in a previous meeting.

CR 32 has been a concern for the county since at least 1999, when work began on the first stretch of the cutoff. Those 2.5 miles were completed, but since then, funding has been a repeated issue.

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