Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

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Anthony_Hugo98
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Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

I don’t know how probable it is, but figure I’d propose the idea. With the second iteration of the Boring Companies TBM in action in Las Vegas, and with them rapidly developing their 3rd generation of TBM technology, how likely would it be in the future for a lot of the monstrous interchanges in and around the downtown area go subterranean? I understand Mr. Musks goal with the Boring Company is to develop “3D road networks” with specific designs of transit technology, but the TBM tech that their developing could have further reaching effects. With massive cost reductions and faster drilling time, I feel their market further into the future will simply be tunneling and not so much their public transport tech. I could see them simply developing TBMs that can be sold to tunneling companies alone and reducing the cost to tunnel drastically. I know this is all pie in the sky right now, but figure if any group of people would humor my 6am airport thoughts it would be this group! :lol:
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Re: Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by DaveKCMO »

Talking to various people over the years that have looked at tunneling in KC, you have to go pretty deep for stability regardless of whether you're using a better technology to dig. I don't think TBC can change geology, they're just building smaller tunnels (12') and better TBMs.

A few other challenges to tunneling: land is cheap so the pressure to relocate above-ground highways isn't as intense (see North Loop), an unwillingness to go there by MoDOT (Kansas doesn't really need tunnels?), and the long-term maintenance cost (which Boring/Musk haven't really fixed).

Ultimately, this is another attempt to continue spending public dollars to build things we really don't need to effectively move people through cities. Musk has done a good job convincing people that an electric car on skates in a tunnel is the future of transportation while running companies that dig tunnels and sell electric cars.

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Re: Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by normalthings »

Anthony_Hugo98 wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:12 am
I don’t know how probable it is, but figure I’d propose the idea. With the second iteration of the Boring Companies TBM in action in Las Vegas, and with them rapidly developing their 3rd generation of TBM technology, how likely would it be in the future for a lot of the monstrous interchanges in and around the downtown area go subterranean? I understand Mr. Musks goal with the Boring Company is to develop “3D road networks” with specific designs of transit technology, but the TBM tech that their developing could have further reaching effects. With massive cost reductions and faster drilling time, I feel their market further into the future will simply be tunneling and not so much their public transport tech. I could see them simply developing TBMs that can be sold to tunneling companies alone and reducing the cost to tunnel drastically. I know this is all pie in the sky right now, but figure if any group of people would humor my 6am airport thoughts it would be this group! :lol:
"Most of the cost savings comes from having a really small tunnel. Musk didn't magically find a way to do things massively cheaper or better." - my tunnel engineering friends

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Re: Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

While I agree with both points made, I do also have to point out that no tunneling company currently operates a fully electric TBM (to my knowledge anyway), nor do any actively recycle the material in the manner in which TBC is planning to into the tunnel infrastructure itself. While we could always take Elon Musk’s estimated cost reductions with a grain of salt, I do imagine it should lower costs substantially. Increased digging speed can also be quantified in cost savings, with less time you have to pay workers as a primary savings. Just my continued thoughts.
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Re: Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

DaveKCMO wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 8:19 am
Talking to various people over the years that have looked at tunneling in KC, you have to go pretty deep for stability regardless of whether you're using a better technology to dig. I don't think TBC can change geology, they're just building smaller tunnels (12') and better TBMs.

A few other challenges to tunneling: land is cheap so the pressure to relocate above-ground highways isn't as intense (see North Loop), an unwillingness to go there by MoDOT (Kansas doesn't really need tunnels?), and the long-term maintenance cost (which Boring/Musk haven't really fixed).

Ultimately, this is another attempt to continue spending public dollars to build things we really don't need to effectively move people through cities. Musk has done a good job convincing people that an electric car on skates in a tunnel is the future of transportation while running companies that dig tunnels and sell electric cars.
How much deeper would you need to go for stability? I remember seeing that both Boston and Seattle had fairly shallow tunnels for their subterranean interstates.

As well, I agree the actually boring company transit tech is ridiculous and unnecessary, but the development of better equipment itself could make tunnels significantly cheaper and more cost effective to implement in the future.
For all my military brothers and sisters out there, thanks for paving the way, ill do my best! AIRBORNE!

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Re: Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by flyingember »

Anthony_Hugo98 wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:09 am

How much deeper would you need to go for stability? I remember seeing that both Boston and Seattle had fairly shallow tunnels for their subterranean interstates.
https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/Prodesc/proddesc_79286.htm

It looks like the Loess is up to 30 feet deep where it wasn't removed. And the crossroads is all fill Under this for sure.

I have no knowledge on what shale layer can be tunneled. If it's the PMZ layer that's much easier than if it has to be below that in PLZ

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Re: Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by herrfrank »

The limestone layers, both the Winterset and the Bethany Falls groups, are thick, sturdy, and level. They would be the best candidates for deep tunnel boring through KC. However, midtown and downtown represent significant plateaux, requiring any north-south route that would pass under the east-west valleys at Turkey Creek or the KCTR r-o-w and also Brush Creek, to be deep in the limestone layer.

So if this were a tunnel for pedestrians, like a subway, you would be looking at 200-foot escalators to the surface in midtown and downtown. For an automobile tunnel, like the proposed Southwest Trafficway tunnel from the Plaza to the I-35 merger, the depth would be less of a problem, as the limestone emerges almost to ground level at those lower altitude formations.

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Re: Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

herrfrank wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:18 pm
The limestone layers, both the Winterset and the Bethany Falls groups, are thick, sturdy, and level. They would be the best candidates for deep tunnel boring through KC. However, midtown and downtown represent significant plateaux, requiring any north-south route that would pass under the east-west valleys at Turkey Creek or the KCTR r-o-w and also Brush Creek, to be deep in the limestone layer.

So if this were a tunnel for pedestrians, like a subway, you would be looking at 200-foot escalators to the surface in midtown and downtown. For an automobile tunnel, like the proposed Southwest Trafficway tunnel from the Plaza to the I-35 merger, the depth would be less of a problem, as the limestone emerges almost to ground level at those lower altitude formations.
I would imagine this only be necessary for auto traffic, as I doubt the KC area will have a need for subterranean mass transit for at least the next 50 years
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Re: Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by phuqueue »

I don't understand what problem you are trying to solve by tunneling under KC for cars. We've spent more than enough money on car infrastructure already. If the issue really is just that monstrous interchanges are unsightly and/or a waste of space, we'd be better served by just ripping them out.

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Re: Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by Anthony_Hugo98 »

phuqueue wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:51 pm
I don't understand what problem you are trying to solve by tunneling under KC for cars. We've spent more than enough money on car infrastructure already. If the issue really is just that monstrous interchanges are unsightly and/or a waste of space, we'd be better served by just ripping them out.
Keeping the functionality of said interchanges without having them taking up massive amounts of surface area.
For all my military brothers and sisters out there, thanks for paving the way, ill do my best! AIRBORNE!

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Re: Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by shinatoo »

If we could take I-70 underground from Jackson Ave to state line roughly along the 30th street alignment we could do wonders for reestablishing the downtown urban fabric.
Quocunque Jeceris Stabit

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Re: Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by phuqueue »

If we're going to go as pie in the sky as envisioning burying KC's freeways, we might as well envision getting rid of them entirely, which would be preferable anyway and is only slightly less likely to actually happen.

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Re: Boring Company tech to help untangle highway mess

Post by Sani »

herrfrank wrote:
Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:18 pm
The limestone layers, both the Winterset and the Bethany Falls groups, are thick, sturdy, and level. They would be the best candidates for deep tunnel boring through KC. However, midtown and downtown represent significant plateaux, requiring any north-south route that would pass under the east-west valleys at Turkey Creek or the KCTR r-o-w and also Brush Creek, to be deep in the limestone layer.

So if this were a tunnel for pedestrians, like a subway, you would be looking at 200-foot escalators to the surface in midtown and downtown. For an automobile tunnel, like the proposed Southwest Trafficway tunnel from the Plaza to the I-35 merger, the depth would be less of a problem, as the limestone emerges almost to ground level at those lower altitude formations.
It's a shame this didn't happen in the early 50s, when we could have justified building a subway as creating a civil defense shelter.

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