Elon Musk’s Hyperloop test tunnel gets a thumbs up from Hawthorne

Two-mile underground track will be built near SpaceX headquarters

Los Angeles /
Aug.August 24, 2017 02:00 PM

Billionaire Elon Musk was given the green light by Hawthorne City Council to start building his first Hyperloop test tunnel.

The council approved the two-mile underground track on Tuesday in a 4-1 vote.

The proposed route will extend west from SpaceX headquarters, under the northeast corner of Hawthorne Municipal Airport and along 120th Street, the Press-Telegram reported.

Brett Horton, SpaceX’s senior director of facilities and construction, said all of the construction will be done underground.

“We won’t have construction crews walking down the street. We won’t have excavators,” Horton told the Press-Telegram.

Musk’s infrastructure company, the Boring Company, will monitor the impact of its tunneling and plans to stop work if the surface ground shifts by a half-inch.

The tunnel will gradually slant down until it reaches a depth of 44 feet. The boring machine that will do most of the work was purchased after it was used to dig a sewer line in San Francisco, according to the Press-Telegram.

While the tunnel will rely on that existing technology, Musk has said that he wants to develop new boring machines that could build mass-transit tunnel networks across the country.

“We hired a structural designer from a large consulting firm to design the tunnel based on LA Metro specs,” Horton said. “We haven’t reinvented tunneling. We’re using proven technology and proven means and methods.” [PT] — Subrina Hudson


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