Today’s Headlines for Thursday, December 20

  • Chicago Contingent Impressed by Musk’s Bumpy 12′ Wide, 1.14-Mile Tunnel (Sun-Times)
  • Portion of Navy Pier Flyover Opened to the Public (NBC)
  • Park District Announced Completion of Lakefront Trail Separation Work (Curbed)
  • Elgin Woman Killed, 2 Others Injured in 3-Car Crash (Tribune)
  • Man Who Fled Police Charged With Murder in Park Manor Crash That Killed 2 (Sun-Times)
  • Thieves Target Cars by Near West Side CTA Stations (ABC)
  • More Traffic Than Usual Projected for This Holiday Season (Tribune)
  • Police-Heavy Wards See the Fewest Parking Tickets (Block Club)
  • The CTA Has Installed “Urine Shield” Deflectors in Some Corners of CTA Stations (Tribune)
  • Metra Trains Will Run on a Special Schedule for the Holidays (ABC)

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  • Jeremy

    Tribune runs a story about how traffic is supposed to be worse this year, while also running a story about how Illinois’s population declined. It is almost like we have created policies and infrastructure that encourage people to drive.

  • Jeremy

    Instead of electric skates, Musk’s tunnels are now for cars to be driven on ledges. That means every car that enters the tunnel will have to have the same body length, height, weight, wheel base, wheel track, and use Michelin Model XGV tires, size 75-R-14.

  • rduke

    If Chicago’s deputy mayor was impressed by a tunnel with a car in it, I have a bridge to sell him.

    That whole demonstration was a joke.

  • Carter O’Brien

    It’s disturbing that the entire Internet seems to be largely speaking in one voice about what a disaster that was, with the glaring exception of the Chicago contingency.

  • Tooscrapps

    The Boring Co was pitched that it could build tunnels quicker, but morphed into this stupid sled/mobility idea. I haven’t really seen it addressed in any of the media reports, but was the tunnel boring process quicker or not?

  • rduke

    It was quick and cheap, but didn’t include emergency exits, proper ventilation, signals, stations, second tunnels, or feasability/impact/environmental studies. Plus it’s only cheaper because the tunnels are smaller.

    They’re cheap because they can only fit a couple Tesla’s on a track going back and forth. That $10M/mile is a guess spit out by Muskrat, it’s probably going to end up being a lot more in practice.

  • Tooscrapps

    Let me clarify, was it quicker than anyone else could bore a similarly size, rudimentary tunnel?

  • Carter O’Brien

    Even if they can dig this small tunnel more affordably than has been done in the past, there are still a laundry list of issues as rduke touched on, so I gather that many people just think that’s a moot question (and they’re kind of pissed that Musk’s promotion was deceptive).

  • FG

    I saw a quote earlier by an Alderman (don’t remember his name) who was there and was not in the least bit impressed.

  • Tooscrapps

    I agree that the whole thing went off the rails (or is it tracks?), but if the boring process is more efficient, and I’m not saying that it is, than that is something worth a deeper look.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Fair point – there seems to be a lot of debate about that., prompted by Yonah Freeman’s tweet: “It’s remarkable how cheap Musk’s tunnel was to build… until you realize it only allows movement in one direction, it’s 12 feet wide, it
    has no actual stations, and it doesn’t include emergency exits. Details.”

    (extended thread here: https://twitter.com/yfreemark/status/1075519713516630016)

  • BlueFairlane

    Thing about that is, the Boring Company isn’t using any kind of proprietary equipment, though they theoretically have one on the drawing board. But this is just a regular drilling machine no different from those maintained by other companies, except it has a Boring Company logo on the side, and Musk gave it a cutesy name.

    It took 11 boring machines six years to drill and build out 31 miles of the Channel Tunnel, which involved three tunnels, one with a diameter of 16 feet and two with diameters of 25 feet. It’s hard to do a foot-for-foot comparison, but Musk built 1.14 miles of a single tunnel with a 14-foot diameter in 12 months. Math probably not applicable to the real world suggests that If you took 11 of these Musk machines to drill the same distance at Musk’s smaller diameter, it would take 7.4 years. So as far as time goes, I think you come out about even … assuming you don’t count all the extra accoutrements like emergency exits Musk’s tunnel skipped.

    Now, as far as money goes, who knows? Musk’s not going to be forthcoming with cost information.