HAMILTON, Va. – Starting in January and lasting for months, a major roadway and utility infrastructure project on Route 9 in the Town of Hamilton, Va., will disrupt rush-hour commuter traffic on the two-lane traffic artery.
For most of the time, a single lane will be opened for eastbound morning rush-hour commuters on weekdays, Hillsboro officials reported. However, there will be a period of 60 total days when Route 9 will be completely closed to traffic in the town at some stage during the project.
The single-lane opening will begin at 4 a.m. and remain open through the rush hours. Route 9 will be completely closed to traffic through the town after the morning rush hour and remain closed until the next morning’s weekday commute, including through evening rush hours.
Signs will direct Route 9 traffic through town to U.S. 340. Traffic access in town will be maintained with detours for local residents and businesses.
For weekends starting on Fridays at 3 p.m., a single lane on Route 9 will open for westbound traffic until 5 p.m. on Sundays.
After a contractor is selected sometime next month, a schedule for the one-way traffic pattern through Hillsboro will be developed and announced to the public, said Hillsboro Mayor Roger Vance, who is overseeing much of the project for the town and the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Extended nighttime and weekend construction hours will be part of the contract requirements, the mayor said.
Vance added that the contractor selected may suggest changes and alternatives that could alter the traffic plan and the sequence of construction.
For about 60 total days during the project, Route 9 will be completely closed all day to through traffic, Vance explained Monday in an announcement about the roadway-closure plan. The mayor said the closures are likely to occur in two or three time periods. A contract with the construction firm selected for the project will likely include financial incentives to limit the number of days the roadway is completed closed, he said.
Vance said the current plans should allow construction to be completed within 14 months, shorter than a three-year timetable that was an option the mayor and highway officials have been trying to avoid.
More than 17,000 daily road trips on Route 9 pass through Hillsboro.
The road-closure plan was developed to address concerns raised by commuters, local businesses and town residents.
“It balances the many diverse needs with the need for the most time-effective project delivery,” Vance said of the plan in a prepared statement.
The Virginia Department of Transportation, which is leaving communications about the project with Vance and Hillsboro officials, approved the traffic closure plan. Envisioned since the 1990s, the project is slated to rebuild the roadway and upgrade several municipal utility systems underneath it.
In addition to raising sidewalks as a traffic easing measure, the project will construct two single-lane roundabout intersections at each entrance to Hillsboro. One roundabout will be built at Route 9 and Hillsboro Road, at other at Route 9 and Stony Point Road.
Estimated to cost $25 million, the project was approved by Virginia transportation officials in 2012. Building a bypass around Hillsboro was considered, but the $100 million price tag was considered too expensive, town officials reported.