Civic News
Federal government / Transportation

The Boring Company’s Baltimore-DC Loop reaches ‘early milestone’

The U.S. Department of Transportation released a draft environmental assessment for the underground transportation system touted by Elon Musk.

The envisioned route of Boring Company's underground Loop. (Image via The Boring Company)

Verbal govt approval” can upend a news cycle with a tweet, but the final plans for The Boring Company’s plans to build a tunnel-bound transit system from Baltimore-D.C. will take a lot longer to work out.

Since Boring Company/SpaceX/Tesla founder Elon Musk’s infamous tweet, the 35-mile project now known as Loop has entered the formal government assessment phase.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation said it is hitting an “early milestone” in the process. DOT and the Maryland Department of Transportation completed a draft version of the environmental assessment for the effort. Now, it will be released and enter a 45-day public comment period. (The project’s official landing page is down for us right now but check it later.)

Here’s how Politico describes the concept, which would enable a 15-minute trip from D.C. to Baltimore, as it stands:

“… the ‘loop’ would transport passengers between the two cities via a tunnel 30 feet underground, with autonomous electric vehicles moving at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour — the maximum speed of Amtrak’s Acela train that serves the same city pair.”

Notably, this is not a hyperloop, but Boring Company said the tunnels would be compatible with that form of transportation.

Previous maps and signs from the state have shown the project running under the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. According to DOT, the stations for the project would be near Camden Yards in Baltimore, and on New York Avenue near Union Station in D.C.

The environmental review, not yet complete, is just one step in the process.

“Final governmental approvals will depend on the outcome of the review and comment process and any subsequent modifications,” reads the DOT’s statement. “Both agencies noted that operational safety issues will be addressed in future studies, as will the ultimate engineering and design details.”

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