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Elon getting into the tunneling business!

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by RubberToe, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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  2. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    IMHO, there are not enough Tunnels out here in the West/Mountain States. Apparently the STATE of Utah has ONE. The CITY of Washington DC has around 14. No wonder why all my wife's ordered deliveries get stuck in Utah when the weather is bad (like this week). FWIW here's a list of Tunnels in the US:

    List of tunnels in the United States - Wikipedia

    Just a quick glance will show you how Eastern-centric tunnels are (example of more developed infrastructure). Also many of the Western seaboard tunnels are Rail Tunnels (See Washington State). So yes, IMHO, Tunneling would be a good thing to help develop infrastructure and roads in the USA.
     
  3. voyager

    voyager Member

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  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I was puzzled by Elon's latest tweets about starting a company to make tunnels for roadways. Tunneling costs for major highway size roads are enormous. See Cost benefits of large-diameter bored tunnels

    Quote: "typical cost range per mile of a twin-bore project of approximately $200 million to $700 million".

    That said, the article does make a case for tunnels offering long term financial advantages compared to surface roads.

    If Elon has some innovative way of reducing those costs by an order of magnitude that would be great, but he hasn't said anything about that yet.
     
  5. voyager

    voyager Member

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    My suggestion is far cheaper - for governments as well as for car drivers.
    No need to carry all that weight that's only costing you, if you're sitting by yourself anyway.
    You might as well split-use the lane you're on. At least in a bricklayer formation.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    The Swiss are really into tunnels. They tunnel everywhere. Of course, lots of mountains but they really like to dig into the ground. Every house/apartment has a bomb shelter.
     
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  7. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    "The Boring Company"
     
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  8. abasile

    abasile Working on EVBuySell

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    Building a city on Mars will require a great deal of tunneling, in as automated a fashion as possible.

    However, in existing metropolitan areas here on Earth, I expect there to be less of a need for tunneling with large numbers of connected, autonomous vehicles on the road, as it'll be possible to improve utilization of existing roads. Such vehicles should be able to drive very close together, nearly bumper to bumper, effectively forming "auto trains" on the fly. Further, special autonomous-only lanes should permit very high speeds, at high efficiency since vehicles will effectively be "drafting" one another.
     
  9. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    I think this exemplifies how much more infrastructure development the US really needs. A small mountainous country understands the need for Tunnels in the mountainous areas.

    I see the large amount of Tunnels on the east coast as an example of how much less developed the Western US and mountain regions are. Almost as if after a certain point in the US development/history we lost the political will or ran out of money to continue building (I think the former).

    Now the bomb shelter thing would be a separate issue...
     
  10. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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  11. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    You know, the name is already taken... There's a "Boring Company LLC" out there....
     
  12. tinm

    tinm 2013 S85 Owner

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    Tunnels are probably not a good idea in seismically active Southern California.

    Setting aside quakes, making tunnels through which would run more road surface, won't solve the LA traffic problem, just like making more freeways won't solve the problem. You create more lanes they just fill up. You create more roads, they just fill up.

    The traffic problem in L.A. could have been avoided, but instead there was a deliberate choice what, 100 years ago?, by the auto and oil and gas industries, to intentionally kill off mass transit before it had a chance to take off like it did in European countries. Lots and lots more mass public transportation would solve the problem but the corporate powers still don't want that.
     
  13. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    I emphatically agree with tinm. The seismic activity of esp much of California is a West Coast specialty (I'm being particularly Americentric here...bear with me) was my immediate first reaction on reading Mr Musks's tweet; it needs be addressed from the get-go.

    There are, however, ways safely to address this. I'm still looking into this but at a first stab, we're NOT looking at u/g roadways. Think more along the lines of "Urban Hyperloops" In other words, high-speed subways...but as the term "subway" doesn't merit more than a giggle for megalopolises like LA, I like the former term.

    PS: In what movie did "¿LA has a subway?" provide just such a giggle?
     
  14. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    I'm also a big advocate of low speed short hop hyperloops for 15 minute urban lines. They could use the existing highway rights of way.
     
  15. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    (Without looking) My guess would be Speed, because she was forced to take public transportation due to a DUI.
     
  16. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    The Japan tunnels work well, and their seismic activity comes from the same horseshoe shape as does that of SoCal. It's all about design. The argument about more capacity making overcrowding just as bad rather over-simplifies the issues. After all better capacity helps, even though other measures (Oh, Metros need tunnels too.) can mitigate that.
     
  17. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    What’s Up With That: Building Bigger Roads Actually Makes Traffic Worse

    Article talks about "induced demand" which is exactly what you are talking about. What it interesting is that the article also points out that adding mass transit does not reduce congestion as the people who migrate to mass transit essentially "make room" for new drivers to add to the congestion. Seems the "best" way to mitigate traffic (according to the article) is to decrease the roads altogether (pedestrian malls & walkways?).
     
  18. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    Isn't that always the case that all the really good names are taken.
     
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  19. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Based out of Boring, Oregon?
     
  20. hockeythug

    hockeythug Active Member

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    Sorry. Deliver the Model 3 on time first(or anything for that matter) and then start thinking about digging holes. Worked well in Boston.
     

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