When Elon Musk first announced his plans to bore a tunnel to his SpaceX offices in Los Angeles, it was hard to know if he was simply venting his frustrations about being stuck in traffic.
‘Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…’, he tweeted in December of 2016.
He ended his rant on the social media site with: ‘I am actually going to do this’.
The billionaire’s tunnel-digging firm ‘The Boring Company’ has presented its plans to build a 6.5-mile (10.5 km) shaft under Culver City, California, at a council meeting. Pictured is an image shared by Musk in October of the firm’s test tunnel in Los Angeles
The billionaire first tweeted a picture of his firm’s boring machine back in February 2017 with the caption ‘Minecraft’ – a reference to the popular video game in which players dig large tunnel networks for resources.
On Monday, January 22, 2018, the Boring Company presented plans to build the 6.5-mile (10.5 km) shaft under Culver City, California, at a council meeting.
According to the plans, the privately-funded tunnel would carry cars on ‘electric skates’ at 150 miles per hour (240 kph) to help with LA’s ‘soul-destroying’ congestion.
The proposed route goes through West Los Angeles passing underneath Sepulveda Boulevard through Culver City.
The tunnel could also make Hyperloop adoption viable.
Hyperloop is a proposed method of travel that would transport people at over 600 miles per hour (965.6 kilometers per hour) between distant locations.
Musk’s proposed first tunnel will run from LAX to Culver City, then to Santa Monica, and end in Westwood. Musk claims the tunnel trip will take five minutes, compared to 45 minutes driving in normal LA traffic
It was unveiled by Elon Musk in 2013, who at the time said it could take passengers the 380 miles (610km) from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes – half the time it takes a plane.
It is essentially a long tube that has had the air removed to create a vacuum.
The tube is suspended off the ground to protect against weather and earthquakes.
In August of 2017, Elon Musk took to social media to share progress on his traffic-beating tunnel beneath Los Angeles, revealing it was big enough to fit a Tesla Model S
Here’s where the Boring Company’s current projects stand:
- Hawthorne: A test tunnel has been permitted and is under construction.
- Los Angeles: An excavation permit application has been submitted to the City of Los Angeles. The project would be a 6.5 mile (10.5 km) proof-of-process tunnel which would run within the City of Los Angeles and Culver City.
- East Coast: The Boring Company says its working with federal and state officials on a DC-to-Baltimore route which would then be extended to New York. The State of Maryland has granted permission for 10.1 miles of tunnel beneath the state-owned part of the Baltimore-Washington. The company has released details of twin tunnels for 35 miles from downtown DC to downtown Baltimore, beneath New York Avenue and then the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. In the future this could be extended to New York.
- Chicago: The Boring Company has been selected to build a high-speed underground transportation system that it says will whisk passengers from downtown Chicago to O’Hare International Airport in mere minutes.