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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