The Boring Company’s Next Tunnel Could Come to This Hi-Tech City

The Boring Company has held discussions with San Jose, the California city at the heart of Silicon Valley, about building a connection between the airport and the main station. Mayor Sam Liccardo said on Tuesday that a traditional rail link is “not that cost effective,” suggesting Elon Musk’s tunnels could help.

The project could be one of the next major links for the company, which unveiled its first test tunnel in December 2018 with a promise to send autonomous cars whizzing through 14-feet-wide tunnels at speeds of up to 150 mph. Liccardo said in a memo seem by Mercury News that “for two consecutive years, the (airport) has been the fastest-growing airport in the United States,” adding “city and regional leaders have long sought a means of connecting the airport to the rest of our emerging transit system.” The link would run from Mineta San Jose International Airport to Diridon Station around three miles away.

San Jose Diridon Station
San Jose's Diridon Station.

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The Boring Company has lined up a number of projects since Musk founded the company as a means of reducing Los Angeles traffic. It’s released plans for a connection between Los Angeles’ Dodgers stadium and the nearby metro system, plus a connection between New York and Washington D.C. that could support the 700 mph vacuum-sealed hyperloop. The company is working with the mayor of Chicago to build a 17-mile connection, dubbed the “X Line,” between the airport and downtown area.

The company’s technology aims to reduce the costs of tunneling. It aims to triple the power running to each digging machine, while tweaking the design to ensure teams can work continuously instead of running the machine for 10 minutes per hour as with current designs. The company claims a regular tunnel costs $1 billion per mile, but its 1.14-mile Hawthorne project cost just $10 million. While Liccardo did not provide a cost figure for a tunnel between the airport and station, he claimed a comparable rail link would cost $800 million.

Liccardo expressed interest in sending out a “request for information” in the next few months, which would enable The Boring Company and its competitors to provide more information.

It may be time for the company to start digging again soon.

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