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Thornton Quarry transformation part of ‘largest civil engineering project on earth’


Laborer Randy Leach was on lunch break still wearing his hard hat, his yellow vest coated with dust and boots plastered with white mud. A cool breeze flowed from the dark reaches of a massive 30-foot tunnel at his back, offering relief from the hot midday sun.

As Leach, of Roselle, Ill., prepared to return to his work at the tunnel’s far end, he looked out across the pale, flat moonscape of Thornton Quarry’s north lobe floor. Normally consumed with the day-to-day efforts involved in linking this tunnel to a larger system underlying much of Chicago, he took a moment to reflect on his job.

“If you stop and think of it, we’re making history,” he said…Please click here to read Paul Eisenberg’s story in the Times.

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