In Honor of Labor Day

A decade later . . . remembering the workers of the Big Dig

It seems like just yesterday that our Boston streets were continually disrupted by the Big Dig. Back in 2000, construction on roadways, tunnels, and bridges was in full swing. Tunnelworkers, crane operators, pile drivers, ironworkers, carpenters, and electricians labored to replace an ugly and dangerous elevated highway and replace it with a 10-lane underground expressway. Now that the tunnels are tiled and the traffic is flowing, we thought it was a good idea to remember these laborers’ contribution.

Listen here as we venture down the “Glory Hole “and speak with Sand Hogs Steve Shepardson and Dominic Mazzeo. (This 10-minute radio segment originally aired on WUMB in 2001.)

Though their numbers were small, women had a consistent presence on the Big Dig. Sally Addison joined the Piledrivers Union in 1993 and worked on the Big Dig until it was completed in 2006. When asked how her grandchildren would be able to appreciate her role in the Big Dig, Sally said, “You can see what I’ve done.” We can see what she, and thousands of other Big Dig tradespeople, have done. Let’s not take their contributions for granted.

All photos by Maggie Holtzberg