Boring Company Completes Test Tunnel


Elon Musk’s Boring Company has completed its first test tunnel, located in Hawthorne, California, ahead of the Dec. 10 opening date. The billionaire also recently announced the founding of The Brick Store LLC, a storefront that will sell bricks made from tunnel waste, which could be used in affordable housing.

The completed tunnel is a two-mile-long test track that began in the parking lot of Space X’s Hawthorne, Los Angeles, headquarters, running to what will eventually become O'Leary Station, named in honor of Patrick O’Leary, a 13-year SpaceX veteran who recently died.

Test Tunnel Completed

The tunnel was approved in November 2017 by the Hawthorne City Council; the tunnel will transport passengers 155 miles per hour. O'Leary Station is home to where the company is building a vehicle elevator in a residential garage to connect directly with the test tunnel.

Musk’s plan for high-speed transit stems from a desire to do away with what he has dubbed “soul-destroying” traffic. According to Musk’s design, announced in May 2017, tunnels would transport cars on an electric skate, and that there would even be room for a Hyperloop—a reduced pressure tube that could shoot pod-like vehicles faster than an airliner. Individual cars would be lowered from regular roads to tunnels by parking on what Musk calls a “car skate,” which essentially functions like an elevator and lowers the car into the tunnel. From there, the skate’s speed could exceed 130 miles per hour.

According to Ars Technica, where the recently completed tunnel terminates, near O’Leary Station, is near, but not  in the same location as, where the company received approval to build a tunnel entrance in a residential garage.

Work continues on another tunnel, a 3.6-mile-long one-way structure that will run from the Los Angeles Metro to Dodger Stadium.

Brick by Brick

Musk first announced his idea to convert tunnel waste into bricks that could be used for affordable housing back in May. At the time, he claimed that the stone being mined was “seismically rated” in the state of California. September saw the announcement of the opening of a “Boring Brick” store, originally slated to open this month, which would sell the bricks for 10 cents each. Most recently, Musk founded The Brick Store LLC.

According to The Architects Newspaper, the Brick Store will open only a mile away from Space X headquarters and the Hyperloop tunnel. Musk also announced he will give away the bricks for free to affordable housing projects.

The Boring Company has yet to extract its borer from the two-mile-long test tunnel, as well as clean up whatever rubble that remains.


Tagged categories: Infrastructure; Mass transit; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Tunnel

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