Elon’s L.A. tunnel craziness
OK, seriously, Elon Musk – are you a supervillain? I assume it works like cop shows: if he is, he has to tell me.
Because it turns out his whole “build giant tunnels under major American cities” plan was not the usual Silicon Valley hype and hyperbole.
It’s a real thing.
Musk’s hilariously named Boring Company just completed its first segment of traffic tunnel, which started in the SpaceX parking lot, because of course it did. I’m sure I saw that in a comic book once.
The future is now
The ultimate goal is a commuter network that will allow drivers to bypass the 20th century nightmare that is Los Angeles traffic by way of a series of elevating and lowering platforms and, well, giant horror movie CHUD tunnels.
And now, I can’t stress this enough, there really is one of those under LA.
The first elevator platform might be up – and, I suppose, down – as soon as next week.
We live in the most ridiculous future.
That said, Musk’s plan, while perhaps smacking slightly of the Underminer, is also a characteristically giant swing at a giant problem, perhaps the biggest one the United States will be handling and/or failing to handle in the next few decades: infrastructure.
As we’ve previously reported, cities are changing, and the networks of services that keep them running are all too often not keeping up.
Wired pegs the cost of necessary improvements at… well, you know how journalist types like me sometimes use the joke “Billion. Like, with a B?”
It’s gonna cost a trillion dollars.
Trillion, like with an “oh my Insert Deity Here, where are we getting a trillion dollars?”
Oh, and that’s only if we do it right. If everything goes according to plan, which of course vast, complex, nationwide projects spanning the public and private sectors totally always do, it’ll cost a trillion dollars to keep the country functional.
If it doesn’t, it’ll be more. More than a trillion dollars, and we either spend it or our entire society grinds to a halt.
That’s space money.
From that admittedly terrifying point of view, there could be worse starting points than a plan from the guy who keeps going to actual space.
But when he builds a volcano base shaped like a skull, don’t say I didn’t warn you.