A Boring Presentation To Hawthorne City Council (w/video)

The Boring Company


The Boring Company

Entrance to the initial Boring venture concept tunnel in Hawthorne, California at the SpaceX headquarters.

We still don’t know the details behind Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s recent verbal approval to build a hyperloop from New York to Washington D.C., but we do know that regardless of anything, it’s not going to be an easy ride forward.

Many media outlets have been quite skeptical of Musk’s Boring Company idea, and the latest social media post stating that he has verbal government approval fueled even more criticism. Musk was unable to explain exactly “who” approved “what”, and he has said on numerous occasions that he has no intention to build a hyperloop, but it seems things are changing.


Musk intends to build his own hyperloop now that he’s received “verbal government approval.”

An underground tunnel between New York and D.C., with stops at several major cities in between, is a colossal project. Building a hyperloop — which no one has been able to do successfully thus far — makes this endeavor even more daunting. We are talking about regulatory approval from different city and state councils, among a myriad of other obvious obstacles that need not be reiterated here.

The video below gives us an idea of what the initial stages of the process might look like. It’s a Hawthorne city council meeting, which includes a SpaceX and Boring Company presentation about the future plans. A full transcript of the meeting made its way to Reddit, and you can read it here.

Basically, the proposed two-mile tunnel on SpaceX property in Hawthorne is to be used for research only. This will give The Boring Company an idea of potential risks associated with  such projects, especially in regards to avoiding current utility lines for electricity, water, and gas.

The meeting paints a very real picture of what a substantial project this will be, and even moreso, how the government approval process may play out. Also, keep in mind that the Hawthorne area is very “Tesla-friendly”, due to SpaceX, and the fact that it’s in California, where Tesla and green-friendly practices are heavily supported. The process will likely prove even more challenging in other parts of the country.

Source: Teslarati, Electrek

Categories: Tesla

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10 Comments on "A Boring Presentation To Hawthorne City Council (w/video)"

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Make Boring Great Again

@OP said: “Many media outlets have been quite skeptical of Musk’s Boring Company idea…”

Those media outlets must have super smart analyst staff… apparently smarter than Musk.

Being skeptical of Musk’s Boring Company idea…an idea from the guy that is today successfully delivering on his other idea of delivering packages to the ISS and landing the spend 1st-stages on the pitching deck of a drone-barge.

He can tunnel under his parking lot, but not under other property without and easement.

SpaceX has to back a dump truck up to Hawthorne city hall to unload the tax money they give them. This is a very receptive audience for Elon. Very smart, but hardly representative of what they will encounter trying to cross multiple districts from Washington to NY.

By the way the chief takeaway from the video is that they are using a TBM designed for sewer lines to build a small diameter tunnel, 12 feet, much smaller than a standard transport/highway tunnel. This is enabled by (as the video says) the fact that the skates in the tunnel are completely automated.

Well, The Boring Co. certainly has a very supportive city council to approve its plans at Hawthorne. If that’s where the SpaceX headquarters is located, then that’s no surprise. But I see they are following Elon’s idea of a very small diameter tunnel. The presenter said 14′ diameter for the boring, and a finished tunnel diameter of only 12.5′. Obviously that will take only a single lane of traffic; two-way traffic would require two tunnels. My initial reaction to this plan was that it’s quite wasteful of time and resources. It seemed to me that a single tunnel carrying four lanes of traffic would be much more cost-effective than boring four individual tunnels. However, I note that the Channel Tunnel (“Chunnel”) was dug as three tunnels closely spaced together; two traffic tunnels each holding a single rail line, and a smaller maintenance tunnel in between. So perhaps smaller tunnels for individual lanes of traffic are a better idea than I thought. Still, what happens when there is a breakdown or (heaven forbid) an accident in the tunnel? That would block all the traffic in that tunnel, from beginning to end. That’s why I think that each tunnel should have at… Read more »
> perhaps smaller tunnels for individual lanes of traffic are a better idea than I thought Not really, since you cannot really have thought about it. If you did, it would never have seemed to you that one larger tunnel might be better. This isn’t hard to grasp if you try. We’ve only got one realistic way to make tunnels, and that is boring them. That involves rotating some kind of crown to grind rock and move dirt. Since it is rotating, the resulting tunnel is going to be spherical. You could bore with a non-circular crown, but that is really just a more difficult way to make a circular tunnel, since the crown has to rotate. You should at this point feel at least an inkling as to why making a single big tunnel isn’t very cost-effective. Having realized this, consider how the radius of a circle, and thus the volume of a cylinder, relates to it’s radius. Both increase proportionally to the square of the radius. And at this point you shouldn’t really need to read on to understand the issue. For some given tunnel project, let’s use the volume of a single-lane tunnel as a unit, and… Read more »

Oh the endless repetitions of this same, simple joke. I guess it just never gets Boring.

Just to be clear, there is no such thing as a “Verbal Approval” to build a tunnel through arguably the most densely concentrated above and below ground industrial infrastructure in the world.

As for going underground, that seems wildly expensive and complex vs. building a duplicate on top of existing highways and rail ways, doubling up transportation capacity and in the places needed most.

China has built out over 12,000 miles of high speed (200 mph +) rail all above ground to provide alternative to air travel. I’m sure Chinese engineers would be happy to advise US on how to do this.

I’m not expert, but i think the tube has to be very straight for them to get the speed up . Following a highway isnt very straight. Underground you can go in an almost straight line.

Interstate from NY to DC is fairly straight. An elevated centered on the median of the highway could handle a tube and would be much safer and cheaper than a tunnel. All the right of ways already established.