A ribbon cutting ceremony held on June 18 commemorated the completion of a congestion mitigation and pedestrian safety project in historic Hillsboro
HILLSBORO, Va. (June 21, 2021) – On June 18, 2021, the Town of Hillsboro celebrated the completion of its ReThink9 road and infrastructure improvement project with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by hundreds.
“We are gathered here today to usher in a new era in Hillsboro’s history and to recognize and thank our partners who contributed to this transformative project and worked with us to build it once, build it now and build it right!” said Hillsboro Mayor, Roger Vance.
Mayor Vance and Vice Mayor Amy Marasco hosted the event with funding partners, Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) and Loudoun County, and with federal, state and local officials, residents, business owners, and project contractors and workers in attendance.
“We’re so pleased to welcome our residents, local business owners and visitors back to our safer, calmer, revitalized historic ‘Main Street,’ Charles Town Pike,” said Mayor Vance, who served as the project manager. “This project was ahead of schedule and on budget thanks to the extraordinary cooperation and support from our community, partners and contractors. We are extremely proud that we delivered critical safety and infrastructure improvements to keep the region moving in a manner that did not compromise historic integrity, but rather complemented and enhanced it. Our vision, and the collaborative work of the designers, engineers and skilled craftsmen we honor today, made this possible.”
The Town hired Volkert to design and manage the construction of the road project, which was awarded to Archer Western in November 2019. Originally estimated to take three years to construct, the project was substantially completed in 14 months and provides congestion relief for the more than 17,000 daily vehicles that travel on Route 9.
Vice Mayor Marasco, who served as deputy project manager, said, “While the project addressed congestion and safety concerns, we were also committed to restoring the Town with materials that are not only historically appropriate, but also durable and environmentally sensitive. A granite curb will not only last for centuries, but its carbon footprint is significantly smaller than other construction materials.”
“Through context-sensitive design and materials, the project brings infrastructure in one of Virginia’s best-preserved 18th-century rural villages into the 21st century, ensuring Hillsboro’s sustainability for generations to come,” continued Marasco.
Aerial utilities were placed under ground in the narrow corridor alongside new drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure and Town-owned conduit to deliver fiber for broadband. Above ground, hundreds of native trees and plants line the corridor to ultimately recreate the lush canopy that once shaded Charles Town Pike and further calm traffic. Bluetooth-controlled dark-sky luminaires, sitting atop 40 uniquely accented lamp posts, provide safe illumination while protecting the rural night sky. Set for completion later this year, three VDOT-funded multi-modal trails will link to the Town’s new sidewalk system.
“The ReThink 9 project preserves the Town of Hillsboro’s unique historic character while upgrading the transportation, water, and pedestrian infrastructure for the future,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “I want to thank the town and county leaders who made this transformative project possible. The investments of time and money in this project will improve the quality of life for the Hillsboro community and our entire region for generations to come.”
According to Town leaders, Hillsboro’s transformation into a revitalized and pedestrian-safe destination will restore its historic role as the hub to a robust agricultural region. The project’s completion comes just in time for the summer season to relieve congestion on the important Route 9 corridor, which provides access to more than 350 agritourism destinations in Northern Virginia.
“I am honored to celebrate this transportation milestone to enhance the quality of life in the Town of Hillsboro and for all of those who travel this corridor,” said Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis J. Randall, who is also chair of NVTA. “Through this regional collaboration, visitors are welcomed back to Hillsboro where congestion has been relieved, and pedestrians can walk safely through the Town.”
In addition to the ribbon cutting, the Town marked June 18—the date in 2018 the Authority members voted to fund the Hillsboro project—as NVTA Day. The Hillsboro project is one of the first transportation projects in the Authority’s first Six Year Program to start and finish construction.
“It is truly an honor to celebrate this transformative, congestion-reducing transportation milestone with the Town of Hillsboro, Loudoun County and VDOT on Hillsboro’s first official NVTA Day,” said NVTA Executive Director Monica Backmon. “Hillsboro has proven, no matter how small a jurisdiction, by dreaming big, and through regional collaboration and strategic planning, a project vision can be brought to reality, benefiting travelers across Northern Virginia.”
“I’m honored to have played a small role in the funding and approvals of this much needed multi-faceted improvement project” said Loudoun County Supervisor Tony Buffington. “I want to recognize the dedicated and strong leadership of Mayor Vance and Vice Mayor Marasco. Had it not been for their extraordinary efforts, this project would not have been possible.”
The ceremony also featured Zahria Ford, a sophomore at Rock Ridge High School who delivered her poem, “The Visionary.” Ford was the Northern Virginia winner in the 2021 Strong Men & Women in Virginia writing contest.
The Town also prepared a time capsule to commemorate this history-making event. Mayor Vance said, “In 2121, when this time capsule is opened, we hope the future leaders of the Town of Hillsboro will be inspired to see how—with vision and through dedication and teamwork—we made the ‘impossible’ possible in 2021.”
Hillsboro’s Mayor Roger Vance invited one and all to join the official ribbon cutting for the ReThink9 Project, including representatives from NVTA, Loudoun County, VDOT, the project team, Hillsboro’s Town Council and Planning Commission, local residents and business owners, among others.