Elon Musk's first tunnel beneath LA starts to take shape
Building a tunnel is a traditionally painstaking process that moves along at glacial pace, but The Boring Company believes it can get things done a whole lot quicker. And if an image shared by CEO Elon Musk over the week is anything to go by, it is wasting little time getting started, with what appears to be the beginnings of a fully formed tunnel stretching beneath LA.
Elon Musk first began talking about building tunnels last year as a way to help solve LA's notorious traffic problems, and no one was quite sure how serious the serial entrepreneur was. That was December and in the space of less than a year, The Boring Company is showing that it is indeed quite serious.
Back in July, Musk claimed to have a received verbal approval from the US federal government to build a high-speed tunnel between New York and Washington. This followed "promising talks" with the mayor of LA a month earlier about building a tunnel network beneath the city to carry cars, bikes and pedestrians.
It seems that The Boring Company is now moving full steam ahead with that project. The photo shared by Musk over the weekend on Twitter and Instagram is unremarkable enough, but does shows a fully concreted tunnel complete with tracks and cables.
Musk said that the tunnel is currently 500 ft long (152.4 m), but that within three or four months should measure around 2 miles (3.2 km). And then a year down the track, he is hopeful that it will cover the entire stretch of the Interstate 405 highway that runs from LAX to the 101. Musk has stated previously that snails are able to move 14 times faster than current tunnel boring machines, and The Boring Company is aiming to close that gap.
In a follow up comment, Musk said that there would be on and off ramps every mile or so and that the tunnel would function as a fast freeway. Using electric skates, vehicles and passenger pods would be shuttled along at up to 150 mph (241 km/h), with the skates exiting and entering via dedicated side tunnels to avoid logjams.
This is more or less the vision initially outlined by Musk when describing the purpose of The Boring Company, but another, much faster application for his tunnels has emerged recently. In the last few months, Musk has stated his intentions to use the tunnels for his Hyperloop concept, where maglev pods would travel through depressurized tubes at more than 600 mph (372 km/h).
And earlier in October, the Governor of Maryland expressed his support for a Hyperloop connecting two of the State's major cities. When asked for his thoughts on the technology, he said, "I think it's coming to Maryland and it's going to go from Baltimore to Washington, so get ready."
Source: Elon Musk (Twitter)