On a Roll
Updated: April 1, 2003, 11:56 AM ETBy By Shaun Assael, ESPN The Magazine
The most dangerous job in Vegas? Forget the vice squad or wrangling Siberian tigers. Try being Colton Borchardt at midnight as he stares into a bubbling sewer, nervously praying that a triangle of pylons will keep his crew safe from the drunken drivers speeding by. Borchardt runs the graveyard shift for the Las Vegas Valley Water District. The work can only be done when the city sleeps and huge mains like the one he's repairing can be shut off. His men work beneath this city of towering neon, jackhammering under gas mains, live electric lines and dark vaults. It takes nerves of steel; one wrong move andkaboom! "The day shift goes into the safe jobs," he says. "Not us. We handle the heavy artillery."