Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) — taking a cue from the big splash, low information PR strategy of Elon Musk — tweeted Thursday that Musk’s Boring Company is going to build a Hyperloop tunnel from Baltimore to Washington.
“So, get ready,” Hogan said in a rough video after adjusting his shades.
Hogan said in another tweet that his administration is proud “to support The Boring Company to bring rapid electric transportation to MD — connecting Baltimore City to D.C.”
The first of the digging will take place in Maryland, a Hogan aide said.
Musk, the electric car pioneer and budding tunnel builder, said this summer that he had “verbal govt approval” to build one of his super-high-speed pod-and-tube transportation systems, known as a Hyperloop, that could make the trip from New York to Washington in 29 minutes. The system would work by shooting pods in vacuum-sealed tubes at high speeds. Musk also announced this summer that he had completed the first segment of his first tunnel, in Los Angeles.
No longer waiting for Godot. It has begun boring and just completed the first segment of tunnel in LA.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 28, 2017
The Maryland Department of Transportation has given conditional approval to Musk’s firm to dig miles of tunnel under state roads to be used for the privately funded project, Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer said.
“It’s called a utility permit. That’s all they need to do the digging,” Mayer said. “It’s a private company, privately financed. The costs to the state will be extremely limited, if anything at all. The state has been working with them for multiple months on the permit process.”
The digging will start near Fort Meade, in Anne Arundel County, Mayer said. About 10 miles of tunnel will be under the state-owned portion of MD 295, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, he said.
But, as is not uncommon in the Musk playbook, the announcement left more questions than answers.
Where the rest of the route would go, and the status of permitting or permissions needed to dig under other public and private land along the way remains unclear.
Maryland officials did not immediately have information on which conditions are involved in the conditional approval or whether any environmental reviews are necessary for the project. Mayer referred questions on the construction timeline, costs and sources of funds to the Boring Company, which declined to answer them, relying instead on a short statement released by the state.
“The Boring Company would like to thank Maryland, Washington D.C., and the White House Office of American Innovation for their support,” the company said. In March, President Trump appointed his son-in-law, senior adviser Jared Kushner, to lead the office.
A White House spokeswoman did not respond to questions on what assistance the Office of American Innovation provided, whether any federal funds would be spent, or whether any federal approvals have been given.
As for the District, a spokesman for the District Department of Transportation, Terry Owens, said: “We have had conversations with the Musk people. … We’re trying to better understand the concept as it’s been developed so far.”
Here’s a concept video of how the system would work, posted by Musk this summer.
And the tweet below contains a link to a video of a test run of a sled that Musk says would transport cars at 125 mph through the tunnels.