Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hampton Roads, Va., light rail construction wraps up in Freemason

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Businesses and residents in Norfolk's Freemason Historic District got some good news last week - major light rail construction that caused confusion and detours is complete, local media report.

"This is the light at the end of the tunnel," said Omar Boukhriss, owner of the Carriage House Restaurant on Bute Street, and Voila, on nearby Botetourt Street.

For more than two years, businesses in the district have dealt with the construction that will bring the light rail to downtown by next May.

Tom Holden, a spokesman for the Hampton Roads Transit Authority, said that workers will now install poles that will hold the wires that will power the rail. That construction will cause little disruption, he said.

The news comes as a relief to restaurant owners in the neighborhood, who said the construction caused their businesses to take a hit.

"The business owners had a lot of problems with the interruptions and access to their properties, with the general noise and confusion that comes with heavy construction," Holden said. "It was a very tough climate for many of them, and they are happy to see the construction end, as are we."

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