John F Stevens 1905
Wikipedia notes: Stevens' primary achievement in Panama was to build the infrastructure needed for the completion of the canal. "The digging," he said, "is the least thing of all." He proceeded immediately to build warehouses, machine shops, and piers. Communities for the personnel were planned and built to include housing, schools, hospitals, churches, and hotels. He authorized extensive sanitation and mosquito-control programs that eliminated yellow fever and other diseases from the Isthmus. Reflecting his background, he saw the early stage of the canal project itself as primarily a problem in railroad engineering, which included rebuilding the Panama Railway and devising a rail-based system for disposing of the soil from the excavations. Stevens argued the case against a sea level canal like the French had tried to build. He successfully convinced Theodore Roosevelt of the necessity of a high-level canal built with dams and locks.
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