In August, the Hawthorne City Council approved the construction of tech tycoon Elon Musk’s first test tunnel for electric vehicles extending west from SpaceX headquarters. Brett Horton, SpaceX’s senior director of facilities and construction, who also oversees Boring Co. work, stated:
You don’t see it, don’t hear it, and certainly don’t feel it. Everything happens underground. We won’t have construction crews walking down the street. We won’t have excavators. We hired a structural designer from a large consulting firm to design the tunnel based on LA Metro specs. We haven’t reinvented tunneling. We’re using proven technology and proven means and methods.
Musk has said he wants to vastly improve the efficiency of the machine to prepare for a series of Hyperloop mass-transit tunnel networks nationwide. The tunnel-boring machine that will do the bulk of the work was purchased after it was used to dig a sewer line in San Francisco. The tunnel depth will gradually slant down until it is 44 feet, well beneath underground utilities. The Boring Co. is testing out new ways of reducing the cost of tunneling and making it more environmentally friendly. The company is experimenting with using the excavated dirt to make bricks or concrete blocks, rather than simply having it shipped elsewhere. It is certainly good news for the city of Hawthorne and the surrounding cities because there could be some new jobs opening up in the area in the future.