Sandhogs—the tough, clannish men who burrow tunnels and subways under rivers and streets—don't startle easily. But a contract awarded in Baltimore last week startled them. What made them blink was the name of the successful bidder: Sam Rosoff, the world's No. 1 subway builder. The job, digging a $9 million, seven-mile-long water tunnel under Baltimore, will be Rosoff's first important contract within the U.S. since 1939. Sandhogs had thought that "Subway Sam" had finished with digging.

Samuel Rufus Rosoff had dug $50,000,000 worth (25%) of New York City's complex subway system, largely...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!