Boring Company Advances With Underground Tunnel For Los Angeles

The initial testing grounds for the Boring Company and SpaceX will be expanding by two miles. A second phase has been approved by Hawthorne and Elon Musk hopes this gets the ball rolling on networking other places in the Los Angeles area.


Nov. 19 2020, Updated 9:39 p.m. ET

The Boring Company will be extending their underground tunnel in Los Angeles. After completing a practice run at the SpaceX parking lot earlier this year, they’ll be adding two miles and tunneling under numerous roads and an airport. There’s hopes that once this new tunnel is set up, they’ll be creating and networking other cities in the area.

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Elon Musk received the go-ahead to add onto the tunnel by the Hawthorne city council last Tuesday in a 4-1 vote. One side of the tunnel will remain at the SpaceX parking lot, which served as a testing center for the boring machine. It will now stretch under the Hawthorne Municipal Airport and along 120th street to Hawthorne Boulevard.

During construction, there isn’t expected to be any interference with normal traffic. Brett Horton, the senior director of SpaceX who also oversees the Boring Company, told the Daily Breeze that people won’t be able to tell they’re digging a tunnel underneath them. As a precaution, the company will still be monitoring the work at ground level and “immediately stop work if the surface ground subsides by a half-inch above the tunnel.”

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Ultimately, Musk would like to extend the underground tunnel even further in another phase. After the completion to Hawthorne Boulevard, he would like to go all the way to the Los Angeles International Airport. In the future, a series of tunnels would then connect together that would reach places like Culver City and Santa Monica.

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A hyperloop could also be formed, similar to what they’re creating between New York and Washington DC. While electric cars would be driving in separate tunnels, there would be another tunnel with a speeding hyperloop car that could hit these places in record time. It’s expected that a trip from New York City to Washington DC would take a half hour, and the Hyperloop One testing reached close to 200 miles per hour earlier this year.

In order to build these tunnels, the Boring Company is exploring a more sustainable route. They’re taking dirt that’s been excavated and using it to help create concrete blocks. Creating it locally instead of causing emissions from traditional concrete production. This was likely one of the factors in trying to reduce the very expensive costs to build a tunnel. According to the company website, it previously took up to $1 billion per mile of an underground tunnel to be manufactured and installed.

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 “The Boring Company is investigating technologies that will recycle the earth into useful bricks to be used to build structures...These bricks can potentially be used as a portion of the tunnel lining itself, which is typically built from concrete. Since concrete production accounts for 4.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, earth bricks would reduce both environmental impact and tunneling costs.”

At the moment, Musk hasn’t stated if he’ll start another company involving Hyperloops as he holds the trademark. Hyperloop One is currently putting the final touches on what will be the first commercially-built vehicle for hyperloops. Should everything go smoothly with the second phase of the tunnel in LA, it’s hard not to see them expanding the network quickly after.

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