They quite quickly got through the surface dirt with the backhoe and then were hammering away at the bedrock with the pépine all day while I was at work. They seem to have their system down. The hole is open and they are already putting in the new piping and laying down the cement on it.
What's neat is that this is the first time I was able to see both the old drain (the brick part) and the old aqueduct. It's been cut off at the top of the street, but because the mechanism is so old, they couldn't properly close it all the way. So it's got fresh water running out of it at a pretty steady pace. Opportunity for a hobo's bath?