Clean-up: Big trucks, lotsa dirt

Charlottesville Oil has long been a landmark on Route 250 west. Though the giant rusty tanks that stood opposite the Boar's Head Inn are now gone, the station continues to be an eye-catcher.

Lately, it's been the parade of dump trucks lined up to haul away contaminated soil. The heavy equipment rolled in October 28, tackling first the thick steel re-enforced wall with a hammer-wielding trackhoe that tore into the structure "like a huge jackhammer," says the company's Mike Jones. It took three days to bring the wall down.

Jones expects the 30-ton-capacity trucks to continue hauling soil through the end of November. Some passersby may see an appealing pattern to the cuts dug into the earth. Jones is more practical: "It still kind of looks like a bomb site right now."

Once the last ton or two of dirt heads east to Richmond to be remediated, the excavator will slope the gaping maw and plant grass, as Charlottesville Oil completes its extreme makeover.

Dinosaur-looking equipment tears into the earth beside Ivy Road just west of Farmington, while lumbering dump trucks line up to haul their fill.