- The construction permit application for the Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) California Hyperloop project has been delayed because the company has not yet submitted an environmental review application, The Verge reported.
- HTT, which announced in January that it would begin construction of a Hyperloop "research and demonstration center" in Quay Valley, CA, in mid-2016, must also gain approvals from the local board of supervisors and planning commission.
- Company CEO Dirk Ahlborn told The Verge that it was a mischaracterization to call the project "delayed," as it was simply being held up a few months by required "bureaucratic processes." Once construction gets underway, he said, HTT could make up the lost time.
Delays on projects are common, especially one of this magnitude, and particularly since Hyperloop tracks are new on the construction scene. If this method of transportation is deemed viable and becomes even an alternative mode of transportation in this country, we can expect local building departments to take their time with the approval process in order to make sure they've covered all their bases.
SpaceX is developing a Hyperloop test track near its headquarters in California, and Hyperloop One (formerly Hyperloop Technologies) has already done a public test of its propulsion system. As of May, Hyperloop One had also attracted at least $80 million in investments. AECOM is involved with the SpaceX project and HTT's; however, the global engineering firm has not endorsed one over the other.
Elon Musk started the Hyperloop ball rolling in 2013 when he released a concept white paper and issued an open-design challenge to research teams to come up with an elevated, high-speed, emissionless form of transportation. Like AECOM, Musk isn't backing any particular project just yet, but he did show up at the Hyperloop Pod Competition Design Weekend at Texas A&M University in January, where researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology won the opportunity to test its pod design on the Space X track.