American Experience

Tunneling the East River

Clip: Season 26 Episode 5 | 2m 17s

The East River flowed over a mix of gravel, clay, sand, silt and bedrock. When sandhogs hit pockets of sand and gravel, there was a risk of air leaking from the tunnels. Workers were constantly on the alert for a whistling sound—a sign that compressed air was escaping and might at any moment punch a hole through the riverbed, known as a blowout. These blowouts were costly and often deadly.

Aired: 02/18/14

Rating: NR

The full episode is no longer available for online streaming. Why?

Please continue to enjoy extra(s) from this episode. The full episode is still available for purchase through the "Buy Now" links.

Problems Playing Video?

Corporate sponsorship for American Experience is provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Consumer Cellular. Major funding by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.