Town of Hillsboro’s Rethink Route 9 projects are still underway during the pandemic

Virginia

32 residents using the the town's water system were without water most of the week as crews started constructing new water infrastructure underground.

TOWN OF HILLSBORO, Va. (WDVM) — While Virginia battles COVID-19, the Town of Hillsboro is still rethinking Route 9. Thirty-two residents using the town’s water system were without water most of the week as crews started constructing new water infrastructure underground.

Mayor Roger Vance says crews were installing new storage tanks and a new waterworks facility and connecting them to the existing water main. The town distributed water bottles and buckets for laundry and bathing (and is delivering pizzas and hand sanitizer during Governor Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home ordinance).

The water main, which is about 60 to 70 years old, will be replaced in a couple of months. Mayor Vance says it’s in frequent need of repairs. “The fragile system that we’re replacing — over the years it’s not been unusual for there to be extended outages of water,” Vance said. “So everybody is well attuned to the fact that occasionally we may be out of water for a period of time.”

“We have a very prepared resident-base because it’s been a way of life,” Vice Mayor Amy Marasco said.

The water outage was only supposed to take a day or two, but on Tuesday the town notified its residents that they could be without water through the end of the weekend. Because of the water main’s age, Vance says there were many leaks. The water should be restored by the end of the day on Friday.

Vance and Marasco say the pandemic has allowed Route 9 construction to speed ahead of schedule. “Obviously, the closure of the elementary school and diminished traffic has given more opportunities to work faster and better and safer under these conditions,” Vance said.

The town will be taking “any and every opportunity we have to accelerate,” Vance said.

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