The Town of Hillsboro’s long-planned Rt. 9 traffic calming project will finally get underway on March 4.
Mayor Roger Vance said the $14.33 million construction project, being handled by Archer Western Corp., would begin with the construction of a roundabout on each end of town starting March 4 and wrap up by late summer or early fall 2020, with the highway through town remaining open during that time.
Vance said partial road closures and detours will follow the completion of that phase and will stretch to mid-spring 2021. During the second phase, Archer will close the road through town entirely for a maximum of 60 days, divided in three work segments. Vance said the road project should be completed by the first day of summer next year—June 21, 2021.
“We feel very confident that by June of next year it’s going to be done,” he said.
Vance said Rt. 9 through town would remain open during the first phase of the project, in which the roundabouts will be built, but that construction crews would perform occasional flagging operations to control traffic flow. “That’s a really good thing,” Vance said about the highway remaining open during that time.
Before that phase kicks off, Vance said Archer would perform preparatory work in town, such as equipment mobilization.
During the second phase of construction, during which crews will perform work on the road through town from late summer or fall 2020 to spring 2021, traffic will be routed down regional and local detours.
On weekdays, one eastbound lane of Rt. 9 will be open through town from 4 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Beginning on Fridays at 2 p.m., one westbound lane will be opened all weekend until 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Regional traffic originating west of Rt. 340 in West Virginia will be directed down that highway to Rt. 7. Town leadersexpect up to 65 percent of the total daily volume of Rt. 9 traffic to use that regional detour.
The local detour for area residents will route traffic around the town using Stony Point Road and Woodgrove Road south to Allder School Road east and Hillsboro Road north back to Rt. 9.
During the second phase, the highway through town will also be closed for up to 60 days in three varying segments. Two of those segments will happen toward the end of 2020 and the third in early spring 2021. Vance said Archer would determine the length of time for those full road closures as they approach and that the town will provide residents with two weeks of advance notice before the highway is closed.
Vance said the town expects “substantial completion” of the project by early May 2021, with Rt. 9 fully paved by that point but crews perhaps finishing up sidewalk work. During that time, both lanes of the highway will re-open, with flagging operations in place.
Vance said the town took concerns from area residents and business owners into account as it worked through project cost-saving strategies with VDOT throughout the last five months, after it rejected the initial three construction bids when they came in well above project estimates.
Vance said one of the more positive outcomes of shortening the length of the project from 36 to 14 months is that it will affect only one school year.
“I think it’s really pretty good,” he said. “We’re in a good place.”
For updates on the project, go to Rethink9.com.