Elon Musk’s The Boring Company, which he dreamed up while sitting in traffic in LA because he wanted to go under said traffic, has permission to dig a two-mile test tunnel in Hawthorne, California just outside LA. The approval for the test dig comes from the Hawthorne City Council, which voted four to one in favor of the move, according to The Verge. It’s not a cross-country Hyperloop network, but it’s a start.
Musk’s SpaceX has its own headquarters in Hawthorne, and thus far all The Boring Company’s digging activity has taken place only on company territory. But The Boring Co. will now extend its tunnel out into city property, all at a depth of 44 feet below the Earth’s surface.
Nothing sits on the planned path above the tunnel to be dug, which is likely for the best, since the whole point is to try out the tunnel boring system to see if it works as planned. It’s also not necessarily going to be used post-dig, as SpaceX has told the city it can ask that it be filled in with either dirt or a “concrete slurry” according to The Verge.
The goal is that the digging take place without any noticeable disturbance to anyone on the surface, and the dig site will be continually tested to make sure the surface level never shifts while it’s in progress. If there is any measurable change, the test operation will shut down immediately. There’s one more step needed before digging can start — securing an “encroachment permit” from the city, which is required for any excavation.
There’s a lot resting on this test tunnel (pun intended), so The Boring Company had better hope things go smoothly. Boring is best, in fact, in this case.