Elon Musk Plans to Dig a Giant 'Boring Company' Tunnel Under Chicago
This time, Musk's genius new idea involves using The Boring Company - his tunnel-digging operation for building underground high-speed trains and solving Los Angeles traffic - to dig an enormous tunnel underneath Chicago. His ultimate goal: to create a dark portal to Hell. Or, as it's more commonly called, Chicago O'Hare airport (anyone who's ever had the misfortune of visiting the airport will agree that this is not a hyperbole).
Musk's plan involves constructing a state-of-the-art "high-speed loop" transportation system that will ferry passengers from Downtown Chicago to the airport, dramatically reducing the anguish that air passengers (or visiting space aliens) will face when they discover that the airport is not actually all that close to the city at all.
The Boring Company will compete to fund, build & operate a high-speed Loop connecting Chicago O'Hare Airport to downtown https://t.co/bRqKpzSJjz— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 30, 2017
Speaking about his plans, Musk hasn't been all that clear about what exactly a "high-speed loop" will entail, except that whatever it is, it's in some way different to the exciting new Hyperloop concept that many companies are showing interest in (with Richard Branson's Virgin Group being a recent investor). Chicago's loop apparently won't feature a large vacuum because it'll only involve a short journey, but that's all we know at the moment.
The deal that will allow Musk to dig his tunnel is not yet set in stone. At this point, Chicago's Infrastructure Trust is accepting bids and proposals from any company with something to offer, although the city's Deputy Mayor has already expressed a particular interest in seeing what The Boring Company can offer.
Anyone else who might be interested in throwing their hat into the ring and competing with Musk (even if your digging plan simply involves a shovel and a couple cans of Red Bull), has until January 24 to submit a proposal to the trust. At present, it's looking awfully like The Boring Company will win the project as it has done in other cities like LA and Baltimore, and will get to work making Chicago that little bit more connected to its own main (hellish) airport.
A Loop is like a Hyperloop, but without drawing a vacuum inside the tube. Don't need to get rid of air friction for short routes.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 30, 2017
This potentially means that the process of going from the runway at O'Hare to a particular location within the city of Chicago could involve a trip on the airport's monorail, followed by a short journey in the loop, before finally riding the L train across the city. By that point, you've got enough stamps on your Mass Transit Bingo card to at least win a small prize - so long as you don't develop a deep hatred of public transport first.
It's likely that other cities around the world will also soon start embracing this kind of high speed loop technology. In some cases they'll be able to work within the existing system of subway lines that connect major cities, but in places where this is unfeasible, setting up loops may involve digging further under the ground, setting up a brand new set of tunnels that won't interfere with what's already in place a little closer to the surface.
If this is the case, The Boring Company is in a good place to be able to provide such digging, leading to a lot more work as cities update their infrastructure. Musk has a lot riding on his plans to dig some big holes all across Chicago, and he doesn't care how many portals to the underworld he opens in the process.