Project Benefits & FAQ
Project Benefits for Residents, Visitors, Commuters
ReThink9 provides a range of benefits to motorists, visitors, businesses and area residents. The improved traffic flow will relieve congestion while the traffic calming features enhance safety. The streetscaping and multi-modal paths, combined with the infrastructure improvements will reclaim Hillsboro’s historic “Main Street,” provide economic opportunities for sustainability and long-term preservation.
Build it Once. Build it Now.
The combined construction of these major projects is saving millions in taxpayer dollars, dramatically reducing the construction timeframe and disruption for motorists, businesses, visitors and area residents.
Find answers to our most frequently asked questions.
What is the ReThink9 Project?
ReThink9 is a multi-faceted road and infrastructure project that will calm and reduce traffic congestion through the Town of Hillsboro on Route 9, improve pedestrian safety and provide needed infrastructure improvements to the Town residents and businesses. The project also includes traffic-calming streetscaping, burial of all overhead utilities, a new safe drinking water system, wastewater management infrastructure as well as an underground stormwater management system. These new safety and infrastructure improvements will benefit Hillsboro residents, businesses, visitors and Route 9 commuters for years to come.
Hillsboro is a small town. Where exactly does construction take place?
Hillsboro is the gateway to northern Loudoun's many wineries, breweries, farmstands and local artisan businesses. Hillsboro is located approximately 50 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. and 12 miles east of Charles Town, West Virginia.
The project is being built primarily within Hillsboro’s town limits along the Route 9 corridor, from 0.070 miles west of Rt. 719 (Stony Point Road) to Rt. 690N (Mountain Road).
Why is it being built?
Route 9, one of the region’s busiest commuter and tourist travel routes, is notorious for congestion and frequent accidents. Despite its reputation, we can neither stop travel along the busy Route 9 corridor nor do we want to prevent travel through Hillsboro, as our town is the gateway to Loudoun County’s rural economy. However, we can take steps to ensure traffic moves safely along this historic Virginia byway with construction of traffic-calming roundabouts and raised crosswalks and other calming features, all integral to the ReThink9 project.
This project was first proposed as a way to mitigate congestion along the Route 9 corridor. Concurrently, the Town’s water source was determined to be unsafe and its antiquated distribution system under Route 9 in need of replacement. Further, failing and inadequate private septic systems posed an environmental threat. An effort to align these critical infrastructure improvements to maximize efficiency, leverage funding and save millions was successful, resulting in the combined ReThink9 project. The project includes burying all overhead utilities, a new drinking water system and wastewater collection infrastructure, as well as an underground stormwater management system. The traffic and infrastructure components are being built simultaneously as a cost-saving measure but will also result in a dramatic reduction in the duration of impacts to traffic, residents and businesses during construction.
Why is the Town doing this road project through the Town instead of installing a bypass?
The notion of a Route 9 bypass and other measures to divert or discourage heavy commuter and truck traffic—such as a toll—have been raised in the past. In the early 1990s a VDOT bypass concept was met with heavy local resistance. Subsequent community efforts to address growing traffic, speed and unsafe conditions led to a Federal Highway Demonstration Fund grant championed by Congressman Frank Wolf to study traffic-calming and pedestrian safety measures in the Town. A Hillsboro-organized charrette facilitated by international traffic-calming expert Ian Lockwood in 2006 resulted directly in the concept and basic design of today’s project—which was fully vetted and approved by VDOT in 2012—and is now managed and administered by the Town of Hillsboro.
A proposal for a Route 9 bypass surfaced again in 2007. A subsequent impact analysis of a bypass, widening or any significant improvements to Route 9, revealed the result would actually induce even greater volumes of traffic and likely spur substantial residential development along the corridor and in the northwest quadrant of Loudoun. The costs associated with land acquisition, litigation, design and construction were estimated—more than a decade ago—to be in excess of $100 million. For the current 16,000 average daily trips on Route 9 that originate in West Virginia and Maryland, high-speed limited-access highway routes that link to Route 7 already exist (U.S. Route 340)—and these routes are reliably within minutes of the typical travel time for commuters using Route 9.
The Hillsboro Traffic-Calming Project/ReThink 9 is designed to create a safe motorist and pedestrian environment within the Town by controlling vehicle speeds with elevated crosswalks, narrowed travel lanes and safe on-street parking. Directional, peak-hour congestion will be relieved through a pair of single-lane roundabouts, facilitating a smooth flow of traffic. Along with a recent maximum speed reduction to 45 mph on the entire corridor and additional safety measures now under study, it is anticipated that a significant proportion of weekday commuter traffic—and a much larger proportion of through truck traffic—will choose to bypass Route 9 altogether for an alternate route.
Will the Town of Hillsboro set up a toll booth at the state border?
A toll is not permitted, nor would it be the right thing to do. We are all in this together. We understand the 16,000 daily trips that originate from across the border are by and large going to work in Northern Virginia, and as such contribute to the Commonwealth in many ways. We welcome our neighbors and intend to improve their commute and our community with ReThink9—and we hope to do so in the safest and fastest manner possible for all.
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