Hampton University, the historically Black educational institution in Virginia, has hired an eminent domain legal advisor in an effort to halt plans of the Virginia Department of Transportation to take land from the university for a project that will widen Interstate 64 and make improvements to the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel.
Twice in the past, the university has lost land through eminent domain for road improvements. Some of the land taken from the university in past was not used for the improvements that had been planned. In fact, there is a golf course on part of the land that was seized by the state, supposedly for highway improvements.
William R. Harvey, president of Hampton University, said in a statement, “The Virginia Department of Transportation must proceed with the greatest caution and restraint lest it pave over and destroy irredeemable history. Turning points in our nation’s history unfolded on the grounds of our campus, starting with the 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.”