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.

RECLAIM

Hillsboro’s historic “Main Street” with creation of a safe vehicular, pedestrian and multi-modal environment

RELIEVE

congestion for residents, commuters and visitors through one of the region’s busiest commuter and tourist travel routes

REINVEST

in the town’s future with modern infrastructure of buried utilities, new drinking and stormwater systems and foundation for wastewater collection

REVITALIZE

Hillsboro as a pedestrian-safe and accessible community with sidewalks and multimodal trails

RECAPTURE

Hillsboro’s historic role as the hub to a robust agricultural region – and gateway to today’s growing tourist destination

RESTORE

to protect, maintain and make accessible one of the Commonwealth’s best preserved historic assets

RECLAIM

Hillsboro’s historic “Main Street” with creation fo safe vehicular, pedestrian and multi-modal environment

RELIEVE

congestion for residents, commuters and visitors through one of the region’s busiest commuter and tourist travel routes

REINVEST

in the town’s future with modern infrastructure of buried utilities, new drinking and stormwater systems and foundation for wastewater collection

REVITALIZE

Hillsboro as a pedestrian-safe and accessible community with sidewalks and multimodal trails

RECAPTURE

Hillsboro’s historic role as the hub to a robust agricultural region – and gateway to today’s growing tourist destination

RESTORE

to protect, maintain and make accessible one of the Commonwealth’s best preserved historic assets

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.

FAQs

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.

Why is the Town of Hillsboro doing this project?

This project addresses a number of critical public health and safety needs in the Town of Hillsboro. The project will improve pedestrian and vehicular safety, reduce speeds and relieve severe congestion on the Town’s “Main Street.” Additionally, the project will provide a safe drinking water system for Hillsboro residents and businesses and, with the installation of a sanitary sewer main, begin to address the failing and inadequate private septic systems that pose a health and environmental threat. The safety and infrastructure improvements included in the project will benefit Hillsboro residents and businesses, and enhance safety for residents, visitors and commuters on Rt. 9 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.

Why are the utilities being buried under the ground?

Because of the narrowness of the corridor and right of way through Hillsboro and the addition of sidewalks throughout the town, this was the most practical and cost-effective approach.

What does it mean that Hillsboro’s drinking water is not potable? I have heard you are under some enforcement to change this.

Not potable means the Town of Hillsboro does not have drinkable water. It is not fit for public consumption without first boiling it and it cannot be treated simply with a filter or UV light. The municipal drinking water system has been under a Boil Water Notice for the past two decades as the spring that provides water was designated GUDI (Groundwater Under the Direct Influence of surface water). The Town has also been under a Consent Order by the Virginia Department of Health to disconnect the system from its spring. The Town’s existing well production volume is not adequate to allow disconnection from the spring. A new, higher producing well will come online with the current project, allowing for permanent disconnection from the spring.

How does this project truly calm traffic in town?

The project is designed to function as a traffic-calming system as well as provide for mitigation of peak-hour traffic congestion. The two single-lane roundabouts at both the eastern and western entrances to Hillsboro will slow traffic entering the town and, with the elimination of traffic signals, allow peak-hour traffic to flow more smoothly. Three raised crosswalks will further regulate speeds and, along with three at-grade crosswalks, provide safe pedestrian street crossings. Curbs, gutters, sidewalks and safe on-street parking will add to the traffic-calming effect and provide pedestrians with safe access throughout the Town.

When there is an emergency east, west or in Hillsboro, how will fire and police get through the work zone?

The contractor will be required to ensure access for first responders into and through Hillsboro at all times, including the limited period of full road closure. The Town has and continues to work closely with first responders to ensure public safety at all times.

FAQs for Commuters, Truckers, Motorists

What have you done to help commuters traveling east in the morning to get to their jobs?

We understand that thousands of commuters use our “Main Street” every morning and we heard their concerns, which is why we intend to build the two single-lane roundabouts during non-peak hours under standard VDOT flagger operations so both lanes of Rt. 9 will be open for the first months of construction. Once the two single-lane roundabouts are built, we will have one lane open eastbound on weekdays from 4 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. specifically to accommodate the heavy, concentrated morning rush. In addition, the regional detour directing traffic to the four-lane Rt. 340 to the four-lane Rt. 7 will be activated.

Is Route 9 closed every day?

No, both lanes will be open for the first 3-4 months during construction of the two single-lane roundabouts under normal VDOT-approved flagger operations from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Once the roundabouts are built, the regional and local detours will be activated, and for eastbound traffic from 4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. one lane will be open. To maximize worker productivity and safety and accelerate project completion, both lanes WITHIN THE TOWN will be closed to traffic after 9:30 a.m. each weekday.

Is Route 9 closed on weekends?

No, starting Fridays at 2 p.m., one lane will be opened westbound to accommodate commuters and tourists. One lane will stay open ALL WEEKEND until Sundays at 6 p.m. when the travel lane direction will switch to eastbound until Mondays at 9:30 a.m. when the road inside the Town boundary closes again to maximize construction.

Will Route 9 ever be fully closed?

This project is only taking place WITHIN THE TOWN LIMITS and will not close all of Rt. 9. Yes, the contractor is allotted a total of 60 calendar days, in blocks of five days minimum and 30 days maximum, with a minimum of two weeks advance notice, to fully close the road within the Town. The Town has incentivized the contractor to do everything possible to reduce this total time.

Why do you have to close Route 9 at all?

VDOT and the Town engineers agree that construction of certain elements of the project require full road closure to construct. These include subsurface utility installations and crossings, deep cuts in the narrowest confines of the road and traffic-calming surface features that must be constructed and cured properly before heavy equipment and cars can drive over them.

Will there be truck restrictions and if so on what routes?

Yes, through trucks will be restricted on Rt. 9 and the local detour during the project and will be detoured to the four-lane Rt. 340 to the four-lane Rt. 7. There are already through truck restrictions on the local detour route (Rt. 719) and Cider Mill Rd. THROUGH TRUCKS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED ON RT. 719 OR CIDER MILL RD. DURING CONSTRUCTION.

How will businesses and residents get deliveries?

Local Deliveries will be accommodated for the entire project for area and in-Town businesses. When the road is fully closed, local delivery trucks will use the local detour and Town residents and businesses may choose to have specific drop off points to pick up their deliveries.

Will farm equipment be able to travel through Town?

Just as any local truck delivery or motorists, farm equipment will be able to travel eastbound on weekdays from 4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and westbound on weekends from Fridays at 2 p.m. to Sundays at 6 p.m., or use the local detour, which accommodate farm equipment today and will continue to do so during construction.

FAQs related to Businesses

How will the small businesses in Town stay open during construction?

Hillsboro has several businesses in its Town boundaries, including two bed and breakfast inns, a farm market, Hill Tom convenience store, a gourmet picnic basket store and a pizza oven, and professional businesses including architects, tree services, carpenters and cabinet makers. Some of these businesses have alternate entrances on Rt. 690, Gaver Mill Rd. and Stony Point Rd. for their customers. We are working directly with all of these businesses as part of our “Route 9 Open for Business” campaign that will include wayfinding signage and marketing efforts.

How will Hill Tom Market, in the heart of Town, remain open?

The Town and the owners of Hill Tom are working cooperatively to address their business interruption concerns. Opening Rt. 9 for westbound traffic on Fridays at 2 p.m.—their busiest day—was negotiated specifically for this business. Morning eastbound commuters will be able to access the store each weekday, as will westbound visitors on weekends. Other actions to be taken will include Town-provided signage, increasing their lunch fare for the dozens of construction workers on the work site, expansion of specific inventory to encourage Town residents to shop and offering “pop-up” market opportunities at Hillsboro’s Old Stone School.

What has the Town done to provide access to the wineries and breweries and Bed and Breakfast Inns west of Hillsboro?

Access to all businesses west of Hillsboro will be available for the entire duration of the project. This access at all times will be either from Rt. 9 directly or via the local detour around Hillsboro.

The fall season is the busiest for the Agritourism businesses in the area, what is the Town planning to do to help tourists reach these businesses?

The Town recognizes this need and will encourage the selected contractor to develop a sequence of work that includes—if at all possible—two lanes of traffic on weekends during this peak season. However, this will have to be balanced with delivering the project on time and on budget.

How are you helping businesses market to their customers that Route 9 and Harpers Ferry Road businesses are open during construction?

An areawide Town and County supported “Open for Business” campaign will be created for Northwest Loudoun businesses. The Town is collaborating directly with Visit Loudoun, Department of Economic Development, Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Hillsboro Business Alliance and the Loudoun Heights Agricultural Tourism Council on the various elements of this marketing campaign.

FAQs about the Detours

What are the detour routes?

There are two official detours. The regional detour directs regional traffic to use U.S. Rt. 340 and Virginia Rt. 7. The local detour around the Town of Hillsboro directs local traffic to use Rt. 719 (Stony Point Rd./Woodgrove Rd.) to Rt. 711 (Allder School Rd.) to Rt. 690 (Hillsboro Rd.) to reach Rt. 9 in either direction.

Can the local detour roads handle the additional traffic?

Yes. At the Town’s request, VDOT is repairing the shoulders and repaving Stony Point and Woodgrove roads one year ahead of schedule. Further, VDOT has agreed to lower the speed limits on these roads to 25 mph during the construction project. The Town has also requested additional caution and warning signage for these roads at key locations. THROUGH TRUCKS ARE PROHIBITED FROM USING THE ROADS.

When will the detours be in place?

Detours are officially activated when the two single-lane roundabouts at the intersections of Rt. 9 and Hillsboro Rd. and Rt. 9 and Stony Point Rd. are operational and open for traffic.

Is Cider Mill Rd. in Loudoun County a detour route?

No, Cider Mill Rd. IS NOT PART OF THE DETOUR. In an effort to keep cut-through traffic from using Cider Mill, “Local Traffic Only” signage will be placed at the intersection of Rt. 9 and Cider Mill Rd., with “No Right Turn” restrictions. Likewise, “Local Traffic Only” signage will be placed at the intersection of Rt. 719 (Woodgrove Rd.) and Cider Mill Rd., with “No Left Turn” restrictions.

But won’t people use Cider Mill Rd. anyway?

Some likely will. Although law enforcement will monitor during the project to attempt to discourage violators, some additional actions to improve safety include repairs to shoulders and repaving of Cider Mill Rd. and reduction of the speed limit to 25 mph during the project. When feasible, law enforcement will be assigned to the detour route to enforce speed limits.

Are you widening Woodgrove and Stony Point roads?

No. Woodgrove and Stony Point roads are not being widened. They are undergoing long-needed repairs to deteriorating shoulders and are being repaved a year ahead of VDOT’s regular maintenance schedule.

The Loudoun County Sheriff Department is already stretched very thin. How can you expect them to enforce the detours?

As part of the project, the Town has allocated funds to pay for additional law enforcement as is needed and is already working with the Department in planning. Further, the Virginia State Police will also be monitoring the detours.

There are narrow bridges on Stony Point Rd. and Woodgrove Rd. How are these being addressed?

Truck restrictions will be in place on the local detour route, in addition to the existing truck weight restrictions related to the bridges already in place. Further, the Town is proposing additional warning and caution signage along the detour route.

Will there be truck restrictions on the local detour?

Yes, through trucks will be restricted from the local detour. Additionally, truck restrictions for through trucks on Rt. 9 will be posted on Rt. 7 and Rt. 340.

Will the speed limit be reduced and enforced on the local detour route.

Yes, the speed limits on Stony Point and Woodgrove roads WILL BE REDUCED TO 25 MPH. When feasible, law enforcement will be assigned to the detour route to enforce speed limits.

Will you have detour signs to help us get through the detours?

Yes. Regional and local detours will be clearly and consistently marked. Additionally, the Town is proposing temporary “wayfinding” signage directing motorists on the local detour route to area businesses.

Is Shepherds Mill a detour route in Clarke County?

NO, SHEPHERDS MILL RD. IS NOT PART OF THE REGIONAL DETOUR. In an effort to keep cut-through traffic from using Shepherds Mill Rd., “Local Traffic Only” signage will be placed at the intersection of Rt. 340 and Shepherds Mill Rd., with “No Left Turn” restrictions. Likewise, “Local Traffic Only” signage will be placed at the intersection of Rt. 7 and Shepherds Mill Rd., with “No Right Turn” restrictions. SPEED LIMITS ON SHEPHERDS MILL RD. WILL BE REDUCED DURING THE PROJECT.

What improvements are planned at the Rt. 7/Rt. 340 intersection in Clarke County in light of increased traffic volume?

VDOT will address eastbound traffic increases by adjusting the existing light signal timing at the intersection to better facilitate an anticipated increase in left turns from Rt. 340 to Rt 7 East. For westbound traffic, exit ramp improvements are planned to facilitate the anticipated increase in right hand turns onto Rt. 340 North.

FAQs about the Road Closures

Is Route 9 closed within Hillsboro for the entire project?

No. For the first months of the project, Rt. 9 will be open to two-way traffic during construction of the single-lane roundabouts at the intersections of Rt. 9 and Rt. 690 (Hillsboro Rd.), and Rt.9 and Rt. 719 (Stony Point Rd.) Once the roundabouts are operational, the local detour is activated and daily partial closure within the Town begins, with one lane for morning eastbound traffic open each weekday between 4 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Beginning Fridays at 2 p.m., one lane for westbound traffic will be open until 6 p.m. on Sundays, when the travel direction switches back to eastbound only until Mondays at 9:30 a.m. The contractor is allotted a total of 60 calendar days, in blocks of five days minimum and 30 days maximum consecutively, with a minimum of two weeks advance notice, TO FULLY CLOSE THE ROAD WITHIN THE TOWN. The Town has incentivized the contractor to do everything possible to reduce this total time.

Is Route 9 closed every day?

No, Rt. 9 outside of the Town of Hillsboro is always open. There will be a variety of traffic patterns during the duration of construction and we will provide routine traffic alerts. Please refer to the question above for specifics related to the flow of traffic.

Is Route 9 closed on weekends?

No, starting Fridays at 2 p.m., one lane will be opened westbound to accommodate commuters and tourists. ONE LANE WILL STAY OPEN ALL WEEKEND UNTIL SUNDAYS AT 6 P.M., at which time the travel lane direction will switch to eastbound until Mondays at 9:30 a.m. when the road inside the Town boundary closes again to maximize construction.

When will Route 9 be fully closed?

The contractor is allotted a total of 60 calendar days for FULL CLOSURE OF RT. 9 WITHIN THE TOWN OF HILLSBORO, in blocks of five days minimum and 30 days maximum consecutively, with a minimum of two weeks advance notice. The Town has incentivized the contractor to do everything possible to reduce this total time.

Why do you have to close Route 9 at all?

VDOT and the Town engineers agree that construction of certain elements of the project require full road closure to construct. These include subsurface utility installations and crossings, deep cuts in the narrowest confines of the road and traffic-calming surface features that must be constructed and cured properly before heavy equipment and cars can drive over them.

Project Information Updates FAQs

How are you letting travelers from West Virginia know about the project and the changing traffic patterns?

West Virginians—like all other motorists—should sign up to receive text alerts and our ReThink9 Dispatch e-newsletter, follow @ReThink9VA on Facebook and Twitter and always check the rethink9.com website for project updates. The Town of Hillsboro is also working to ensure the local newspapers and radio stations are up to date on all project news.

How are you letting tourists and visitors know about the project and changing traffic patterns?

In partnership with Visit Loudoun and Loudoun County Economic Development, the Town will implement an “Open for Business” marketing campaign for businesses along the Rt. 9 and Harpers Ferry Road corridors. The campaign will assure visitors and tourists that they will have full access to western Loudoun businesses throughout the project duration.

How will those of us who live locally learn about changes on the detours and traffic patterns?

Everyone across the region should sign up to receive text alerts and our ReThink9 Dispatch e-newsletter, follow @ReThink9VA on Facebook and Twitter and always check the rethink9.com website for the most accurate project news and information. In-Town and nearby neighborhoods and school families may receive localized messages as warranted.

FAQs related to Schools

How will the Loudoun County school bus drivers travel the local detours?

Loudoun County school drivers already travel these roads every school day as part of their current routes. The Town has and will continue to work closely with LCPS Transportation Department on the construction schedule. LCPS will adjust bus routes and timing as warranted.

Woodgrove Road and Stony Point Road are narrow roads. How will you ensure safety for the school bus drivers and our children?

The Town insisted that long-overdue maintenance, shoulder repair and repaving of Rt. 719 and Cider Mill Rd. is completed this fall. In addition, there will be through truck restrictions on the local detours, reduced speed limits and additional caution and warning signage where warranted. Law enforcement will be utilized during the project’s duration.

How will school buses, teachers and parents get to the Hillsboro Charter Academy during road construction?

The contractor will be required to ensure access for all trips originating or ending within the construction zone limits, which includes providing access to buses, parents and teachers during construction. The Town will work with the school and the contractor to coordinate access and minimize delays.

There will be a lot of construction workers in town. How will you ensure that the children at the Hillsboro Charter Academy are safe during this project?

The construction zone will have barriers and fencing in place to ensure safety for children, teachers, staff and parents at Hillsboro Charter Academy. The Town will continuously monitor safety conditions in close consultation with the school staff and administration.

We already have problems with traffic incidents at the entrance of Woodgrove High and Mountain View Elementary schools on Allder School Rd. Will your detour impact these schools?

THE LOCAL DETOUR DOES NOT PASS THE SCHOOLS’ ENTRANCE. However, the Town has allocated funds for targeted law enforcement, such as efforts to discourage non-local traffic that continue east on Allder School Rd. past the schools’ entrance.

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Stay in the Know

Town of Hillsboro, 37098 Charles Town Pike, Hillsboro, VA 20132

(540) 486-8001

info@rethink9.com