THE MEN WHO MAKE NEW YORK WORK
Sandhogs are New York’s legendary urban miners. We have built every
tunnel in New York and the foundations for many of the city’s bridges.
To understand how vital we are to the existence of this great metropolis
just consider our many accomplishments. We sank the caissons that formed
the foundations for the Brooklyn Bridge. We dug the Holland and Lincoln
tunnels, and the Battery and Mid-Town tunnels – imagine how much harder
it would be to get in and around New York without them. We built the
subways that transport four million people a day. We built the sewer
tunnels that rid this city of its waste and the steam tunnels that still
provide so much of its power. Finally, we built all the water tunnels
that bring the city’s water – a billion and a half gallons a day - to
New York from many miles away. That’s right, New York City ran out of
adequate drinking water more than a hundred years ago. Without the
tunnels built by sandhogs New York would have ceased to exist around the
time of the American Civil War.
The story of the Sandhogs is the story of New York. The city above grew
where the sandhogs ventured below. For generations we have risked our
lives to make this great city work. Building tunnels is tough and
dangerous work, so to protect ourselves we formed a union – Local 147 of
the Laborer’s International Union of North America (LIUNA) and we strive
to make our job as safe as it can be.
Today we are busy on a number of projects – finishing the second stage
of a vital new water tunnel – City Tunnel Number Three, extending the 7
line of the subway over to the far west side of Manhattan, connecting
the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Station, and building a new
filtration plant for the city’s water system in the Bronx. These are all
projects vital to the city’s future and on each project we strive to
work hard, efficiently and safely - as we always have. We are proud to
be New York’s Sandhogs – the men who make New York work.