Gina LeVay: Sandhogs


Gina LeVay went 800 feet beneath New York City on several occasions, to document the creation of the city's third water tunnel.

Excavation of the 60 mile long City Water Tunnel 3 began in 1970 and will soon be complete. In 2003, Gina LeVay set her mind to photographing the men who are completing this dangerous project.  

The men, known as Sandhogs, are sometimes second and third generation tunnelers. Gina patiently gained their trust over several months before beginning to shoot, and proved her professionalism and gained their confidence. After her initial liaisons with the City, she began to gain access to the site through the workers.

Few New Yorkers even know about this mammoth excavation, or the story of the Sandhogs themselves, yet just as with so many of our large city projects there are tragic consequences - for each mile tunneled, approximately one Sandhog has lost his life in a mining-related accident.

Jim McCluskey, 3rd generation hog of 35 years, 2006 © Gina LeVay

Recent Entries