From: "Perry E. Metzger" <perry () piermont com>
Steam, rats, tunnel fires, steam system explosions, and water main
breaks take out lots of fiber in NYC -- probably more that backhoe
fade takes out elsewhere. However, backhoe fade itself (though not
unheard of) is much rarer, largely because the conduits are deep and
the streets are so jam packed that if you make a mistake about where
you are it will be obvious Very Very Quickly.
Smithsonian Magazine had a fascinating article a few years back about
the infrastructure jockeys who plan and install new stuff under the
streets of Manhattan. "Jam-packed" might qualify for the
understatement of the year award -- there is a lot of stuff down
there, including lots (most?) which is incorrectly documented or not
documented at all. Worth taking the time to look up if you're the
kind of person who geeks out over that sort of thing.