Musk gets conditional OK to dig MD hyperloop tunnel
- The Maryland Department of Transportation has given Elon Musk's Boring Company the conditional approval to dig a hyperloop tunnel from Baltimore to Washington, DC, according to The Mercury News, though District Department of Transportation officials said they've only had conversations with Musk's team and are trying to "better understand" the project.
- A representative from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's office said the tunneling will begin near Fort Meade, MD, and that the Boring Company will perform the work under a utility permit. The exact route is unknown, as are the requirements for final approval, if environmental reviews will be required, schedule, costs or who will fund the project.
- The Trump administration said the White House Office of American Innovation, headed up by President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, helped the process along and facilitated calls and meetings around the project.
Earlier this year, Musk announced via Twitter that he had received verbal approval to dig a hyperloop tunnel from Washington, DC, to New York City. He said the entire one-way trip, which would include stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore, would take 29 minutes. At the time, the only agency that was able to confirm Musk's reveal was the White House, which seems to be a supporter of the project and the hyperloop concept in general.
Since then, Musk has received the OK to dig a 2-mile tunnel near the Space X headquarters in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne, CA. At the time, Musk said the tunnel was to test out an electric sled system that could move vehicles at up to 125 mph and that his goal was to speed up tunneling times and reduce costs by "a factor of 10."
Musk hasn't gotten into the details of whether the hyperloop system will be a partnership with any of the companies, like Virgin Hyperloop One, that have already been developing a system or if he will devise his own. Musk first laid down a public challenge for someone to come up with a working hyperloop back in 2013, but he hasn't indicated he has a favorite project team yet.
Virgin Hyperloop One, formerly known as Hyperloop One, rebranded itself after Virgin Group founder Richard Branson made a significant investment in the company earlier this month. The company is now in the process of picking three of its first system routes
- The Mercury News Musk gets conditional approval to bore Hyperloop tunnel
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