HAMPTON—The road that leads to NASA has been renamed Neil Armstrong Parkway, and the new signs are now being installed to reflect the change.
The I-64 signs have already been installed and contractors recently began changing the surface street signs. Work is being coordinated with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and is expected to be completed this month, one month ahead of the original schedule.
The Hampton City Council voted to change the name of Magruder Boulevard in February 2020. The road was originally named after Confederate General John B. Magruder, but opponents of the idea even said they had no idea the original name was linked to the Civil War. City officials stated that the change was the result of an email sent by a NASA employee to Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck in 2019.
The email stated it was the fiftieth anniversary of Armstrong’s famous moon walk that occurred on July 16, 1969. The sentiment was, wouldn’t it be great if the way to get to NASA Langley Research Center was to take Neil Armstrong Parkway to Commander Shepard Boulevard.
Neil Armstrong was part of the mission that first landed humans on the moon and was the first person to walk on the lunar surface. Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. was the second man in space, the first American in space, and eventually walked on the moon himself in 1971.