Schedule for full road closure within Hillsboro and implementation of local and regional detours moved up in light of reduced traffic, closed schools and diminished business activity during COVID-19 emergency.
Hillsboro, VA, April 13, 2020—The Town of Hillsboro announced today an agreement with VDOT for the acceleration of planned full closures of Route 9 within the Town to coincide with Governor Northam’s ongoing “stay-at-home” executive order, which has resulted in a significant reduction in daily traffic. A full closure of Route 9 within the Town and implementation of local and regional detours will begin on or about May 4 and last into mid- to late-June.
Hillsboro Mayor and ReThink9 Project Manager Roger Vance said, “During this extraordinary time of sheltering in place, shuttered schools and businesses and a dramatic reduction in traffic on Route 9, taking this action now will lessen the impacts to residents, schools, businesses and motorists later.”
“We are extremely pleased with the cooperation and coordination we’ve had with VDOT and our contractor Archer Western to adjust the schedule and sequencing of work to make this possible,” Vance said. “By continuing to use a data-driven decision-making process, the managers at VDOT and the Town project team are ensuring this will not only allow higher productivity and efficiency, but most critically it will improve the safety for residents, workers, school children and motorists.”
Town officials stressed that construction workers are considered “essential” and their health and safety are paramount. “We have been assured by Archer Western that strict social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols have been and will continue to be practiced,” Mayor Vance said.
Archer Western has committed additional resources to ensure the necessary materials, equipment, subcontractors and labor are in place and ready to go for the early May full road closure launch. Nearly 100 detour and construction signs, including several remotely controlled electronic message boards, will be installed across Loudoun and Clarke counties and into West Virginia.
During the full road closure, the Town will also complete installation of new drinking water mains to replace temporary above-ground lines necessitated by a series of main breaks that occurred in early April. The Virginia Department of Health has urged the Town to prioritize the water main installation to protect public health.
Mayor Vance noted, “With three-week’s advance notice, we are confident our local and regional partners and the traveling public will be well informed and prepared for this change in plans.” He said the Town will be holding several virtual meetings in the coming days with residents and businesses to provide logistical details and to answer questions.
Vance said the Town has a wide-ranging information effort underway to ensure coordinated messaging locally and across the region. “We’ve reached out directly to our residents, businesses and local and regional officials, and will have extensive information available on our website, ReThink9.com, and across social media prior to the closure.” He added that the full closure implementation at this time has been enthusiastically received by area businesses, residents and officials, noting, “This is a great example of common sense and nimble decision making.”
With the full road closure, traffic will be restricted to Town residents, first responders and delivery trucks. Through truck traffic will be directed to use the Regional Detour of Route 7 and Route 340. No through trucks will be permitted on the Hillsboro Local detour, consisting of Stony Point Road, Woodgrove Road, Allder School Road and Hillsboro Road.
Local traffic only will be permitted to use Cider Mill Road. All motorists originating from west of Hillsboro will be directed to return to Route 9 eastbound via the Hillsboro detour rather than following Rt. 719 into the Town of Round Hill.
Detour maps, project updates, traffic alerts and project details are posted on ReThink9.com, where visitors can sign up for the ReThink9 Dispatch email updates.
The 428-day ReThink9 Traffic-Calming and Pedestrian Safety project officially kicked off on March 4. Hillsboro’s Safe Drinking Water Project Phase 1-A, which has been under construction by Shirley Contracting since late summer 2019, is anticipated to be completed in early May.