Route 9 Traffic Calming and Pedestrian Safety

Congratulations to Volkert Inc. on their Merit award in the Design-Built category for Route 9 Traffic Calming and Pedestrian Safety in Hillsboro, VA.

Hillsboro is a small town in rural Loudoun County outside of Washington DC. The 18th-century town lies within a designated historic district, its buildings encompassing architectural integrity and community development patterns. An existential threat of overwhelming traffic conditions led to population exodus resulting in infrastructure disrepair, home abandonment, and scarce economic opportunities. Route 9 was reclaimed through a two-decade-long grassroots-led process revitalizing the Town as a regional destination.

Landscape architects worked with the Town and design professionals in redesigning the roadway and streetscape using Context Sensitive Solutions, which integrate multimodal improvements; provide modern infrastructure services including utility undergrounding, community-centric surface restoration, and new sewer/ water lines; and preserve the Town’s historic character.

The design process included workshops exploring precedent historic towns, design scenario mockups, and material research. Historic aspects are celebrated including preservation of stone walls and pastiche of new walls; railings and stairs respond to surroundings; granite curbing and unit paver sidewalks interweave the past and meet modern requirements. Native plants were situated reminiscent of a rustic botanic experience along a shared-use trail activating the town’s center. Design features were customized for Hillsboro in-lieu of Department of Transportation’s standard details. The result recaptures the Town’s ethos and improves quality of life.