Planned Northeast Corridor Hyperloop Gets First Tunnel Construction Permit
Construction of transportation guru Elon Musk’s planned New York-to-Washington hyperloop transit system could get its start in Maryland, following the state’s Oct. 19 grant of a conditional utility permit to build a 10.3-mile tunnel near Baltimore, but Musk’s construction firm, The Boring Co., needs other approvals to start work on the segment. Part of an intended 200-plus-mile route, the permit is the first tangible step toward reality for the still-experimental high-speed transit technology that he claims will cut travel time between the cities to just 29 minutes. Maryland officials say the initial segment will be part of twin 35-mile tubes routed beneath state highways between Baltimore and Washington. No cost estimate has been given for the privately financed project, but The Boring Co.’s website says narrower tunnels, faster tunnel-boring speeds and other factors can substantially cut construction costs through soft soils. Per-mile estimates for aboveground hyperloop systems have ranged from $52 million to more than $120 million.