Tanked: Ivy Road landmark scrapped

A Route 250 west landmark bought the farm last week. Neighbor to Farmington and the Boar's Head Inn, the tank farm at Charlottesville Oil was relegated to the scrap metal heap after 60 years greeting passersby on Albemarle's western entrance corridor.

The rusting metal behemoths fell victim to a common oil tank problem– the soil beneath them was contaminated, and the Department of Environmental Quality ordered it removed. While the DEQ didn't mandate removal of the tanks themselves, "It's hard to dig soil without getting rid of the tanks," Mike Jones at Charlottesville Oil aptly observes.

Jones is amazed at how fast Tri-State Metal Recyclers took the tanks down and turned them into 70 tons of metal sheets that they carted away.

"They cut them up," starting September 21 and finishing up by September 23, Jones says. "It's weird looking over there. I didn't know the sky was there."

The heating oil and gasoline tanks were long considered an eyesore by some members of the exclusive neighborhood. To others, the tanks harked back to the beginning of America's love affair with the auto.

Jones says customer reaction has been about 50-50. "Some say a landmark is gone," he says. "And a lot of folks used them to give directions. They definitely stood out."

The Charlottesville Oil site will see a number of dump trucks over the next couple of months as several hundred cubic yards of contaminated soil are hauled off to be remediated, according to the DEQ, which set November 28 as the date for completion of the removal.

As for Ivy Road's tank-less future, "It's probably an improvement," says Jones. "We were definitely the thorn in the rosebush."

Last man standing September 23: Not allowed to oxidize into the sunset, the rusting hulks on Route 250 west were unceremoniously cut to bits and shipped to Pennsylvania for recycling.