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

Two-mile underground track will be built near SpaceX headquarters

Elon Musk, Rendering of Hyperloop tunnel (Getty Images/Boring Co.)
Elon Musk, Rendering of Hyperloop tunnel (Getty Images/Boring Co.)

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.

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“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