Michael Shain

Photographer and reporter
Big Dig
Nationality: American
Biography: Lives in Queens, N.Y.        
Public Story
Big Dig
Credits: michael shain
Updated: 10/14/20
Under the busiest street in Queens, New York City built a new sewer without stopping traffic.
Three stories down, it took a week for a boring machine — a laser-guided, mechanical mole — to cut a seven-foot tunnel under six lanes of Queens Boulevard.
It's the same technology that built the Chunnel from London to Paris under the English Channel, but it is rarely been used on a small scale like this. It's expensive, but it promises to get infrastructure work done without tearing up streets and disrupting neighborhoods for months at a time. The construction workers on projects like this are called sand hogs, but they are, in fact, skilled tunnel builders whose job is to play handmaiden to a million-dollar machine the size of a house trailer.. 

Also by Michael Shain —


Mass vaccines

By Michael Shain — The story of the pandemic, years from now, will be remembered by many as waiting around in line a lot. New..

North Channel

By Michael Shain / Array — Just how two small, neglected beaches on the north end of Jamaica Bay became sacred places for the..

Elmhurst Hospital, Home of a Pandemic

By Michael Shain — Elmhurst Hospital in Queens never volunteered to be the poster child for Covid-19 disfunction. But the role..

The Vote

By Michael Shain — New York City is new to the idea of early voting. The Board of Elections ran what was in effect two dry runs..

Food lines

By Michael Shain / Queens, NY — The operators of food pantry these days tell the same story. Aid organizations that used to help several..

Indie Wrestling

By Michael Shain — Wrestlers with names like the Bushwick Beast, Awesome and the Saint work in the regional minor leagues of..

Mass in Latin, Like it Used to Be

By Michael Shain — The only weekly pre-Vatican II mass in Queens — wholly in Latin — has been held in a small..

Backstage at the Chinese Opera

By Michael Shain — At Flushing Town Hall, the backstage area is bright but cramped. One grimy window lets in some natural..

Diwali, Parade of Lights

By Michael Shain — Diwali is a big deal for Hindus. The fall festival usually requires a thorough housecleaning and new..

Empire Valley Railroad line

By Michael Shain — In the basement of a prewar apartment building in Astoria is a fantasy world that moves to the sounds of..

Bocce Champs

By Michael Shain — Every year, the New York City Park Department stages a citywide bocce tournament. But first, there are..
Join us
for more access