Route 9 might be a tiny stretch of road through historic Hillsboro, Virginia, but it’s important enough for 17,000 daily commuters that Loudoun County is setting aside millions to keep traffic flowing smoothly through the town.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will chip in $7.5 million to improve the road through rural Hillsboro. The vast majority of cars traveling through it come from West Virginia and Maryland.
Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall said the money will benefit more than just area residents: Hillsboro is set to sign a $14.3 million contract to build roundabouts on either end of the 0.7-mile stretch through town, eliminating backups at a stoplight in town, as well as adding sidewalks.
“I imagine people who live in Hillsboro would be very happy if they didn’t have 17,000 car trips on their little roads every day, but they do,” said Randall.
As WTOP reported in September, Hillsboro and the Virginia Department of Transportation developed a plan that minimizes the periods of time in which Route 9 would be completely closed to traffic.
Every weekday, during morning rush hours, one lane of eastbound traffic will be open through Hillsboro.
“Then the road will be entirely closed for the rest of the day, allowing the contractor to have full access to the entire work zone, which is within the town limits,” Mayor Roger Vance told WTOP.
Randall said she has heard the concerns of business owners, whose customers usually reach them by Route 9: “Their concerns are valid, and those are concerns we absolutely have to hear.”
Hillsboro is working to mitigate the inconvenience to business owners with measures including wayfinding signs to their business paid for the by the town, Randall said.
In addition, one lane of westbound traffic will be open at 3 p.m. Fridays through 5 p.m. Sundays to keep traffic flowing to wineries and breweries.
“If they start to see even a small drop off in their businesses, please come and say something to me and to the elected leaders of Hillsboro, so we can respond to that,” Randall said.