Last December, Ilon Musk wrote to Twiiter that traffic jams drive him crazy and he is going to buy a tunnel complex and start digging. Many at first took it as a joke, but then he added that he would really dig.
Whether it was a clever PR move or whether it was originally part of a master plan, we are unlikely to know. This experience will be very useful on Mars, for the construction of housing and underground utilities. As well as tractors on hydrogen fuel, which will be produced by the electrolysis of water from electricity produced by solar panels.
Later he founded The Boring Company, which will be engaged in the construction of tunnels.
The used Herrenknecht tunneling machine was acquired. The finished complex will be several hundred feet long. Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM), as it is called in the company, received the name Godot - in honor of the character of the play by the Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. There were other options, such as SnoopDug or Ultimate Boring Machine.
According to Ilona, the snail is several times faster than TBM and the engineers were tasked to overtake it.
The entrance to the future tunnel located in the SpaceX parking area is completed on the 14th of May.
The route of the tunnel will pass through LAX, Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood and Sherman Oaks. And the future will cover other parts of Los Angeles. On the map you can see that Ilona’s garage can be one of the stops.
The concept of the integration of such tunnels in urban environments.
It is planned that the car on an electric trolley in the tunnel will accelerate to 200 km / h. The design of the tunnel will allow transporting people and goods. If you add a vacuum shell, you get Hyperloop. The video shows the Hyperloop test tunnel near the SpaceX headquarters.
Positive aspects of using tunnels:
- Seismic stability (1994 Northridge Earthquake damage to the Los Angeles metro station was not caused)
- There is no limit on the number of tunnels.
- The laying of the tunnels does not interfere with the normal life of the city and is invisible if drilling occurs at a depth of more than two tunnel diameters
- No problem exhausting exhaust gas when using an electric trolley
The speed of laying tunnels in soft ground, Musk, wants to speed up and reduce the price by 10 times compared to a conventional automobile tunnel (at the current price in some projects up to 1 billion dollars per mile of the tunnel).
For this, improvements will be made in several ways.
A typical single lane road tunnel should have a diameter of at least 28 feet (8.53 m), using a trolley on an electric drive, can be halved to 14 feet (4.26 m), which in turn reduces the cost by 3-4 times. Also increase the speed of the tunnel shield:
- Three times more power and improved cooling
- Continuous work (current machines spend 50% of their time on drilling and 50% on supporting structures)
- Automation for increased safety and efficiency
- Translating TBM from Diesel to Electric
- Investment in R & D tunnels
The Boring Company is researching the processing of excavated rock into bricks, for building buildings, or for lining the inner surface of a tunnel.