Progress is being made on Elon Musk’s version of the Hyperloop, a supersonic train that could potentially travel up to 700 mph. Last week, the City Council in Hawthorne, California voted four to one in favor of allowing Musk’s Boring Company to dig a two-mile-long underground test tunnel. The newly-approved extension will stretch beyond the company’s property line outside of Los Angeles and will run 44 feet below the public roads and utilities that surround SpaceX headquarters. Reportedly, consumers won’t even notice the construction.
The test tunnel will allow Boring Company to test its own version of the supersonic train which Musk previously shared open plans for. As The Verge reports, the planned route doesn’t go under any privately-owned residential or commercial property, aside from that owned by SpaceX. When the test tunnel is completed, the city can request the company fill it with concrete or soil.
Brett Horton, senior director of facilities and construction for SpaceX, assured the Council that people in the area won’t even notice the construction — or the testing. He said, “They won’t even know we’re there” even though digging will take place below their feet. To assuage concern, Horton added that the company thoroughly tests the soil and will deliver the results to the city on a daily basis. If the ground is found to move as little as half-an-inch in either direction, work will stop until a solution is found. If the public has concerns, they can contact the city or visit SpaceX headquarters, he added. “Our operations team is on site at the entrance shaft, so we’re easy to reach,” said Horton.
Hawthorne’s Mayor Alex Vargas said, “This is groundbreaking, this is establishing a precedent, and I think we all agree that we want to make sure that this goes off without a hitch.”
The Boring Company still needs to obtain an “encroachment permit” before it can dig the test tunnel. Because some are still wary of the proposed Hyperloop, the company might still run into challenges. Regardless, the City Council’s approval is an essential step for Musk’s latest project.
Via The Verge