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Roads, Rails And Commerce

Big projects are underway in East Falls Church. Developers and local leaders want to make it a commercial and residential hub at the intersection of a major highway and the local commuter rail line.

Which sounds pretty much like what East Falls Church once was. Route 29 crossed the Washington & Old Dominion line. Shops and a movie theater sat across the street from the train station. Most everything was vaporized to make way for the I-66 trench. Railroad buffs rescued the station and moved it to the Shenandoah Valley.

Where the Westlee condominiums stand, local residents used to dump trash, industrial waste and the occasional Model T along the banks of Four Mile Run. An oil-tank farm was there in World War II, and most recently a used-car lot.

— Peter Overby