Va. Route 9 closure through Hillsboro will halt Md., W.Va. commutes starting May 4

Traffic through Route 9 in Hillsboro, Virginia will be closed, starting May 4, for a road project. Regional detours will include Routes 7 and 340.

Taking advantage of low traffic volume from stay-at-home orders associated with COVID-19, Va. Route 9, through the tiny town of Hillsboro, Virginia, will be completely closed to traffic starting May 4, for a road project that will affect commuters from Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia.

Every day more than 17,000 commuters typically take the two-lane state road through Hillsboro. When the traffic calming and pedestrian safety project began, in early March, the plan was for Route 9 to be completely closed through town in late summer, or early fall.

However, the coronavirus crisis, and stay-at-home orders issued by local governors has resulted in a drastic drop in daily traffic, and the acceleration of the project’s timetable.

“Under these circumstances, it is plain common sense to take action now that will increase productivity, efficiency and safety, and we hope will lessen impacts later on,” Hillsboro Mayor Roger Vance told WTOP.

In cooperation with VDOT, starting approximately May 4. Route 9 will be completely closed through Hillsboro. The closure will last through mid-to-late June, Vance said.

Drivers from Maryland and West Virginia will be guided toward the regional detours of Routes 7 and 340.

“We believe with the three weeks notice, and our extensive outreach efforts, motorists will be very well-informed about this change in schedule,” said Vance.

Vance said the project has shifted “into high gear,” which will require “the fabrication and installation of nearly 100 construction and detour signs over the next three weeks,” in Virginia’s Loudoun and Clarke counties, and into Jefferson County, West Virginia.

Local detours within Hillsboro, with a population of under 100 people, are listed on the town’s Rethink9 web page.

While Vance said the specific tweaks of the schedule are still be worked out, the 428-day project is expected to be completed in May 2021.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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