Hampton University
I-64 expansion threatens pivotal American history
11/16/2016 - #93

Hampton, Va.  — Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey has called a press conference for noon, Friday Nov. 18th to discuss the University’s commitment to yield “not one inch” of campus property for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s proposed expansion of Interstate 64.

As part of its plan to add a third tunnel tube to the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, VDOT proposes to acquire Hampton University property to widen I-64 from four to six lanes.

 “VDOT must proceed with the greatest caution and restraint lest it pave over and destroy irredeemable history.” Harvey said, explaining his reason for calling the press conference. “Turning points in our nation’s history unfolded on the grounds of our campus, starting with Native Americans 12,000 years ago. As a custodian of that history, I have an obligation to protect it. I have little confidence that VDOT appreciates the damage it is about to do.”

Among the national treasures imperiled by the expansion is the Emancipation Oak, a living witness to the moment in 1863 when Southern slaves taking refuge in the protective shadow of Union forces at Fort Monroe heard the words of the Emancipation Proclamation set them free.

Dr. Harvey will be joined by Norfolk eminent domain attorney Joseph T. Waldo, whose firm, Waldo & Lyle, has been retained to fight the condemnation of the campus property.
The press conference will be held at the Emancipation Oak, on Emancipation Drive, at the east end of the campus. Convenient parking will be available for the press.

A press package with supporting materials will be available at the news conference.

For additional information or assistance, contact B. Davida Plummer, Hampton University Spokesperson, Office of University Relations 757-727-5405.

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