Editorial: Opinions on the Construction of Route 9

A photo showing Route 9, located near the Hillsboro Cemtary.

A photo showing Route 9, located near the Hillsboro Cemtary.

Written by Maryam Khan and Jordan Fiala

Running through the historic town of Hillsboro, Virginia, Route 9 is a major road used by thousands for regional commuting. Over the past two decades, this commuter road has experienced increased traffic, deteriorating road conditions, and water safety risks. The town of Hillsboro is moving ahead with a plan to alleviate those problems, but it comes with some major disadvantages in the short term, including detours. After interviewing Hillsboro’s long-time mayor Roger Vance, it is clear that the construction will eventually lead to greater safety, but unfortunately, drivers and business owners will have to suffer first.

The Re-Think 9 plan is ultimately supposed to calm traffic, and the project is predicted to take 12 to 14 months to complete. The lengthy construction will force commuters to detour onto back roads, leading to delayed travel times and an increase in the volume of cars on many back roads.

In addition to traffic woes, commuters who currently travel on Rt. 9 also tend to visit local Hillsboro businesses.  Detours will most definitely lead to a decline in the income of many small business owners.

As residents who regularly travel along Route 9, the closing not only poses a major inconvenience for commuters, but for many Woodgrove staff members and students as well. Travel time will increase and the volume of traffic on the back roads could lead to an increase in accidents overall. Living in western Loudoun, many students already travel more than 30 minutes to arrive to school. These times will increase during construction.  It is recommended that drivers study the current plan, note the detours, and begin to prepare for alternate routes to school.  While drivers can’t control the situation totally, being informed and prepared may alleviate issues.

To many, the planned construction will be an annoyance, but after studying the plan, one can begin to understand that the ReThink 9 plan is looking ahead to the future of western Loudoun.  We
believe that the construction and detours will be an inconvenience for some time, but the reasoning of the reconstruction is worthwhile. We support the decision that VDOT and Hillsboro have made as the need for clean water and safer roads is important, and we look forward to a successful outcome.

Remember, it’s necessary to do your part.  Study the plan, map out your detours, practice your routes ahead of time, and remember to continue to support local businesses during this time.