Updates On The First Boring Tunnel: Opens December 10

OCT 22 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 51

We were about due for another Boring story and Tesla CEO Elon Musk helped us out.

*UPDATE: Musk elaborated a bit. We’ve added a few new tweets below.

From time to time, Musk updates us on the progress of his Boring Company, however, this may be the first time he’s provided an actual date. Musk is notorious for teasing and even announcing updates and upcoming products on Twitter. He often provides loose timelines as well, which we’ve learned can either be spot-on, miles off, or somewhere in between. Nonetheless, it’s not that common for him to provide an actual date.

In this case, Musk’s initial tweet was rather vague, but within a minute he replied to it with the December 10th clarification:

We’ve only seen images of the “rough” tunnel, along with computer-generated models of various concepts. The first reply to Musk’s tweet shows a concept of what a really cool tunnel could look like. Interestingly, he says that this is actually pretty close:

Aside from the above, we don’t have any more concrete information to share as of yet. We assume this is in reference to the tunnel near the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA (in southwestern Los Angeles County). Now that there’s a date out there, we look forward to more reporting on this next step in the near future.

While the concept seems to keep changing, and we have no idea what will really come of The Boring Company’s plans — added to the fact that naysayers have been quick to discount the company’s plans and efforts entirely — progress has been continual and impressive. We are certainly excited to learn what the future may bring.

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51 Comments on "Updates On The First Boring Tunnel: Opens December 10"

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The MTA spent an insane FOUR BILLION DOLLARS digging a FOUR MILE subway from 63rd & 2nd to 96th & 2nd. Over the weekend the Q train was down for maintenance! PLEASE Mr. Musk, come to NYC and finish the 2nd Avenue Subway. No doubt you can do it on time, and on budget!

While I am at it, we have also spent billions and years working on the LI-GCT East Side Access project. Come finish that also! And if I am allowed to be greedy, how about the NYNJ Amtrak tunnels that need replacement…can you get on those too?

Bruce, did you just recently move to NYC? You’re either incredibly naive or just plain delusional. There’s no way in the world that Elon could do it cheaper or faster, even if he was God. He would be eaten alive by the Sandhogs (NYC tunnel diggers), the Sandhogs’ uber connected and powerful union, and the incredibly corrupt bureaucracy involved with tunnel building.

The NY Times did a good article on why tunnel building is so expensive in NYC: corruption and the Democrats rewarding the Sandhogs’ union for their large money political contributions with obscene contracts and no oversight. Other cities need 6 people to run the tunnel boring machine, while NYC Sandhogs demand 20 person crews to run the exact same boring machine. On top of that, an MTA accountant found out they were paying 900 people to work, yet there were only 700 jobs (i.e. 200 no-show jobs). Oh, there is also a guy whose sole job is to make coffee for $60/hour (over $100/hour if you count benefits).

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/28/nyregion/new-york-subway-construction-costs.html

Dear Mr. Mouse, Wooooooo…how much coffee have you had thus far today? I assure you that as a typical New Yorker I was doing my best to be sarcastic. Trust me, I know we are screwed here when it comes to mass transit. You can’t fight City Hall!

Keep the faith my friend, and maybe try a caffeine-free beverage of your choice.

“I was doing my best to be sarcastic.”

Not to criticize, but just FYI: There is no hint at sarcasm apparent in your comment. Next time, please use a smiley to indicate ironic/humorous intent! That’s what smileys are for.

Well-written sarcasm can usually be recognised without explicit signs pointing it out… I have to agree though that the comment in question didn’t strike me as ironic at all.

You are assuming it was “well written”.

No, I actually implied that it wasn’t…

Not a City Hall issue. It’s Albany and fake President Cuomo. He’s the one the put more people on the board and appoint the CEO

Yelp

Heh, and people complain about corruption in China 😉

But in China, they are held thier feet to the fire or their going to a gulag for a couple of years

Mouse, its much worse than that… I’m personally affected since, living in Buffalo , NY the Lewiston (Niagara Falls) power project charges outsidized rates to us locals so that $millions can go to support the MTA. Whatever you can think of doing, it costs the MTA SEVEN TIMES what it does in other similar cities. Forget the 200 no-show – 700 people working comparison above. About 300 of those 700 are Oilers and Greasers who don’t have any work to do since any modern equipment they use has sealed lubrication systems – but hey! at least they’re around should some obsolete equipment show up. There are hundreds more that management supposedly has NO IDEA what they do. And then don’t mention about all the workers continually on double time and a half or triple time, or ‘Sleep Time’. In their defense, The MTA says that they have to work in an infrastructure hundreds of years old. Big Deal. What do you think they do in London or Paris (both of which are much older than “NEW” York) where the work is done for 1/7th the cost. It ain’t Unions or Regulations since those areas have plenty of them also.

MTA is what moves and gives beat to the NY State economy. If people can’t get to work then all those billions that Albany can’t get to give to you upstaters

You have it backwards. Money flows are from Upstate to Downstate.

For all the money it receives, reports are the system shape as a whole is horrible.

You really think a bunch of broken down subway lines are the key to New York State Prosperity? Gimme a break.

Yes, Mr. Musk certainly has a track record of doing things on time and on budget!

See, now THAT is how you do sarcasm so that it doesn’t need any emoticon to alert the reader! 😀

Ask NASA if they are happy with SpaceX rates and speed of development.

spacex rates? ABSOLUTELY.
They are costing NASA and DOD about 1/3 of what they used to pay.

Speed of development? Oh god does the gov love SX for it. Constellation was started at same time as SX. Which one is now launching 30-40 / year?

Delivering on idea promises? Again, oh yea.
Delivering on talked about time schedules? ROFL. LOL.
Yeah, we all know that Elon has the time sense from a comp. sci type guy.

Cronyism and deep bored tunnels don’t work in NYC. The deep blasted tunnels and big hole stations. Cut and cover tunneling is the way to go.

The actual tunneling is a very very small part of the construction in an urban area. The main cost is dealing with regulations, lawsuits, labor unions, environmental issues, utilities, land ownership, etc. Elon Musk cannot do anything about these issues. What he is doing is using an existing used boring machine to dig a small diameter hole in favorable soil conditions in an inhibited area.

Yelp

Concrete information….was that an intended pun?

But of course. I try, haha

I think you should try to cement your relationship with Mr. Musk, but don’t focus on that so much you get tunnel vision.

In Canada – I guess we could now use … Hempcrete!

We’ve been able to do that for years. Just not smoke it, since 1998.

in colorado, we do both.

Boring…

hehe, yep. boring and Boring. But with Elon and Tesla and SpaceX and future pursuits, this all could eventually amount to something life-changing. Albeit years and adaptations away … but still. I hesitate to doubt its potential in the grand scheme of things. But who really knows … right?

Boring is going bankrupt. He’s investing his own money on a used Tunnel machine

You seem to have missed that the whole enterprise is almost entirely on his own money to begin with?…

Tunnels cost billions of dollars not mere millions.

who says they cost billions?

Just like rockets, he is developing the tech to be a great deal cheaper than what is normally done in the west.

Elon’s stated goal of reducing tunneling cost by 90% is certainly a worthy goal, and I wish him much success with that! But is there any evidence at all that he’s actually making progress on significantly reducing costs? Buying a used boring/tunneling machine doesn’t exactly sound like a breakthrough technology.

And unfortunately, I doubt there is any invention which will significantly reduce the problem with red tape and corruption in large building projects in major cities.

Running the boring machine seems like the easy part. Finding a path that avoids the storm sewer, sanitary sewer, underground electrical, data, phone lines and gas lines seems like the real challenge. If non of the items needed to be relocated it wouldn’t be that difficult. Also I doubt drawings from years ago have accurate locations. Musk is a genius though and surrounds himself with genius though. So for him nothing is impossible.

“inding a path that avoids the storm sewer, sanitary sewer, underground electrical, data, phone lines and gas lines seems like the real challenge”

Simple: dig deep enough.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Dig depth was addressed in a conference.

Well the first real test will be the Chicago Loop. If that works then it’s Katie bar the door and devil take the hind most.

Having personally endured the stop and go drive from the O’Hare Airport to Chicago Loop, I would say that something is badly needed. The Metra takes too long, especially if you have to lug suitcases. The distance isn’t too far, so this could be really useful. An express train from O’Hare to the Loop would be nice, if they could squeeze in a dedicated rail line, but that sounds harder than just building a tunnel.

Hyperloop to the loop would be the ultimate in cool, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for that either.

I worked as a project engineer in Northern NJ area years ago and corruption and abuse of labor laws is rampant. MTA, Port Authority are the worst of the worst. The only way to get this done to bypass the local governments and unions is if it s a 100% private initiative and use minimal local labor.

It is Chicago after all, probably the most corrupt city in the country.

Hmmm, I think New Orleans might challenge them for that title.

If Elon Musk says the tunnels are going to look cool then they are gonna look really, really cool. The Metro system in St. Louis is not very old but the tunnels look like they were built 100 years ago.

They were built 100 years ago as freight tunnels

Thanks, That explains why I feel like coal miner when riding the Metro.

The underground section in U City/Clayton was built in the 21st century. I know because I used to have to bypass the whole route as they dug up Forest Park Parkway to put the whole thing underneath, then rebuilt the street on top.

St. Louis Downtown tunnels

That’s how you built tunnels. Yes is disruptive but they get built faster and it’s closest to the surface. Don’t have to build levels of escalators and elevators plus you are close to the ground if emergency happens. William parson Barclay mention this on his engineering report on building subways in New York and America

It depends a lot on geology as well as local circumstances. Here in Berlin, we have a mix of both. (Though I think the surface variety is considerably more common…)

While the digging itself might be faster from surface, I suspect all the preparation needed makes the whole process actually slower…

Really waiting to see some info on whether they’ve figured out how to make it go faster?

The Boring co is good for Tesla’s future because the electric skates and pods will obviously be manufactured by Tesla