New Dominion (1945-Present)

Throughout the remainder of the twentieth century, Fredericksburg grew exponentially. Construction crews completed the State Route 1 Bypass in early 1946. The bridge across the Rappahannock occurred at Falmouth, where bridges had been constructed since the early nineteenth century. While highways and bypasses were meant to enhance inter-city travel, the dynamics of their presence changed post World War II development patterns.

Fredericksburg Cityscape

Automobile production grew enormously after World War II. The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1944 had anticipated this post-war need for more and better roads, but the Interstate Highway Act of 1956 provided the unprecedented funding that made automobile highways ubiquitous. In the 1960s, Interstate-95, which runs north-south, crossed the Rappahannock River upstream of Fredericksburg. Most recently, the Virginia Railway Express made Fredericksburg a convenient place of residence for Washington D.C. commuters. Although Old Town retains much of its turn-of-the-century characteristics, many areas outside of the downtown area have been altered.