HAMPTON, VA. - After much speculation about the state taking part of their property, Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvery announced today none of their historic land will be dug up.
"Secretary Aubrey Layne, who's sitting up here with me, called me and gave me assurance that VDOT would not take any of our land," Dr. Harvey said. "Although, we are prepared to fight for our land. We will cease now and desist."
The land is needed in order to expand the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel to combat traffic problems.
The plan is to turn the four lane tunnel into six lanes.
"The McAuliffe Administration is certainly about advancing transportation but not if it takes the benefits - don`t outweigh the cost," Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne said.
Secretary Layne said they're now looking at alternatives to not using the Hampton University Land.
"We do own the little bit on the shoulders that we can work with, not impacting their property. There`s new technology with tunnels. That gives us much more flexibility in case we decided to sink the tube between the two tunnels," Layne said.
The initial price tag was more than $3 billion, a price that is expected to rise now that the land won't be used.
Dr. Harvey hopes fighting to preserve and protect their land is a teaching lesson for students.
"The lesson here is always stand up for what you think is right," Dr. Harvey said.
No word yet on when construction will begin.