Back in July, we heard from the man himself that Elon Musk had received “verbal approval” to begin a Hyperloop project running from New York City to Washington D.C. Sure, many of us suspected that this was just wishful thinking, but it seems that plans may be moving more quickly than we could have anticipated. The state of Maryland has issued preliminary approval and a conditional utility permit to allow The Boring Company to begin digging a Hyperloop tunnel.
To be fair, Musk’s “verbal approval” line still really wasn’t quite accurate. Officials from the prospective construction area confirmed that none of them had offered their approval, however a short time later, Maryland officials offered the aforementioned approval and utility permit to begin digging a 10.3 mile tunnel under the state-owned portion of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, starting at the Baltimore city line and extending to Maryland 175 in Hanover.
Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn was particularly excited:
This thing is real. It’s exciting to see. The word ‘transformational’ may be overused, but this is a technology that leapfrogs any technology that is out there today. And it’s going to be here.
Officials have stated they plan to treat the Hyperloop like a utility, paving the way for a much simpler set of permits and approvals. The thought behind that was that the majority of the track is going to run beneath state highways, and there are already plenty of existing cables for other utilities running beneath highways. If that’s the type of reasoning that gets the first U.S. based Hyperloop system built, hey, I’m all for it!
This is clearly only a first step into the larger project, but every huge project needs to start somewhere. A 10.3 mile tunnel will be a good start, and hopefully the remaining path between NYC and Washington D.C. will follow suit.Source: Baltimore Sun