Chicago Taps The Boring Company for Tunnels to O'Hare

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Montu, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Montu

    Montu [H]ard DCOTM x4

    Messages:
    7,897
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Elon Musk and his Boring Company are going to be building tunnels from O'Hare to the Loop in Chicago (WARNING auto play video) if the mayor gets his way. They are hoping the tunnels will hope to reduce gridlock in the city and speed up the commute between the business district and the airport. What's really interesting about this proposed deal is The Boring Company will be paying for the work and the cost of a ticket will supposedly be around $20 to $25 per ride. There's no time frame for this yet, but this is going to be fun to watch as time goes by. I'm sure the pay back period for TBC is going to be measured in decades.

    In exchange for paying to build the new transit system, Boring would keep the revenue from the system’s transit fees and any money generated by advertisements, branding and in-vehicle sales, Rivkin and the company said. Ownership of the twin tunnels has not been determined, but the Emanuel administration plans to seek a long-term lease to Musk’s company, a source familiar with the proposal said.
     
  2. Chaos Machine

    Chaos Machine Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Chicago is getting a great deal out of this.
     
  3. mrp

    mrp n00bie

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005

    Interesting historical perspective
    https://www.netflix.com/title/80991259
     
  4. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,588
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
    it will be interesting to see how much it costs per mile for them to do it.. IF they are even allowed to.
     
  5. IcePickFreak

    IcePickFreak [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,042
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    In before Scott Walker has WI tax-payers connecting it to Milwaukee.
     
  6. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,588
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016

    I dont know.. but a high speed underground rail link between milwaukee and chicago would be a great thing IMO. wish there had been one when i lived in milwaukee many years ago.
     
    MRAB54 likes this.
  7. motomonkey

    motomonkey [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,237
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Not sure why you think they would not be allowed to do it, they won a competitive bid, from the city of Chicago.

    cost per mile on projects like this are highly variable, twin tunnel road projects typically run from 100 million to 500 million per mile, since these are much smaller bore tunnels, cost per mile will likely be much lower. some projects on small tunnels are only around 10 million per mile.
     
  8. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,588
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016

    there are local groups here in Los Angeles that are trying to block the same thing .. connecting LAX with downtown. Hopefully they dont, but you never know.
     
  9. IcePickFreak

    IcePickFreak [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,042
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Yeah, let us pay off at least one of the several other tax-payer funded projects first before we start carting cousins up from Chicago to settle the score on Milwaukee's norfside.
     
  10. griffinhart

    griffinhart [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,252
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Sounds like a great plan for Chicago. All the cost and risk is on the boring company. I highly endorse the plan.

    That said, this will make or break the company. I think they are probably vastly underestimating the cost. New York just did an under two mile single bore 12' diameter tunnel for water at a cost of $250 million. A 20 mile two bore tunnel to carry people will likely not be anywhere near the 2 billion estimate. Likely it will be closer to 5 Billion. With the estimated ridership numbers they are giving at a cost of $25 per ride, assuming the Boring Company gets 100% of that, it would take 20 years to cover the cost of construction. This doesn't even include operation costs, maintenance or the cost of the vehicles in the system. Over all, ROI wouldn't be less than 30 years. That's acceptable for a public works project, but a private enterprise can't survive that long before breaking even.

    I think it will be an interesting case study. Especially in regards to red tape, regulation and Unions. I understand Musk isn't a fan of any of these.
     
    FreeLow and mord like this.
  11. MRAB54

    MRAB54 Gawd

    Messages:
    815
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2001
    Don't stop there, run that baby up to Green Bay!
     
  12. motomonkey

    motomonkey [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,237
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009

    People amaze me sometimes. block a project that reduces congestion and pollution, why?
     
  13. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,588
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016

    they tried to say it was due to other reasons, but then it came down to??

    they are afraid it will negatively affect their property value...
     
  14. motomonkey

    motomonkey [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,237
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Property owner, meet Imminent Domain. checkmate, suckers.
     
  15. Kdawg

    Kdawg Gawd

    Messages:
    855
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2017
    there should be a way to build an underground freeway right below existing highways.
     
  16. Chaos Machine

    Chaos Machine Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    510
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Well you know, earthquakes.
     
  17. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,147
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Good fucking god! And they say they need to bring down the cost per kg to put shit into space....

    Where is all this cost associated? I mean ok lets assume you already have a boring machine, lets say you as a company already paid it off with a few tunnels worth of work. Is there a high cost to replace the drill "teeth" on that thing? Is it a high cost to put up the cylinder concrete tunnel support? or is it simply a matter of "try to find someone cheaper because we all will rape the fuck out of you for money"?
     
  18. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,147
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Yeah, as much as I don't like the idea of California's high speed rail project (I mean I like the idea in principle, just not the practicality of it) all the talk of how much it will cost, ballooning costs etc, much of it due to lawsuits that are being filed. Like WTF people, bitching about how much it will cost you are a self fulfilling prophecy by making it cost so fucking much.
     
  19. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,147
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Well you know, if you are scared of earthquakes don't fucking ride it.
     
  20. TheCommander

    TheCommander 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,943
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    So this will be kind of like a "train." I wonder how much this will help with congestion. Major airports already have trains going to business districts. It is a cool though.
     
  21. mord

    mord Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    257
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    There was advertisement etc. Still, it will be a long break even. I wouldn't be surprised at all if boring plans to sell it off as soon as it's finished and runs for 6mo to a year.

    Making up numbers here, but if they project say a 8% anual profit after paying loans, they could sell it off pretty easy. Pay off debt and have some money to pocket. Maybe even setup a deal where they get the debt paid off and keep a few percent of the payoffs. Maybe get a 5 or 10 year support contract.

    Lots of ways to move the debt somewhere else but still make money short and long term.
     
    Tych-0 likes this.
  22. motomonkey

    motomonkey [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,237
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    One of Musk's goals is to reduce the costs of building these tunnels. the entire Hyperloop project is dependent on drastically reducing the cost per mile to reasonable levels. His new tunneling machines are supposed to be much faster/cheaper than the current state of the art, granted, the high cost I quoted is for worst case estimates, places like LA generate higher costs associated with the higher inherent costs of projects such as this in California due to regulatory costs and Seismic concerns.

    On the extreme end of the cost scale was Boston's "Big Dig" over $14 billion US for 1.5 miles of tunnel and associated construction. most expensive road project ever...
     
  23. mord

    mord Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    257
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    As others probably pointed out, underground tunnels tend to be considerably safer than being on the surface during earthquakes. Maybe not some dirt roofed armature mine shaft, but in solid rock? You move around then it's fine. Collapses are very rare in tunnels and natural caves cut into solid stone. Because it, mostly, all moves together. Little shearing force.

    The spot crossing an actual fault or fold, may get interesting, but overall, I'd prefer to be underground instead of a "concrete card building".
     
    Tych-0 and Trixar like this.
  24. griffinhart

    griffinhart [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,252
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Ad's aren't as much money as you would think. looking at how much ads cost for the NYC Subway system, you could have ads in 200 subway platforms, and in every subway car for about $85,000 for a month. That's for a system with 5+ million riders a day. This is expected to see 15 to 25K a day and only 2 or 3 stations. The maybe 2 million a year in ad revenue wouldn't cover much of annual operating expenses, never mind helping with ROI.
     
  25. modi123

    modi123 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,940
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    At this point - all I can think of is the Simpson's monorail episode.

     
  26. mord

    mord Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    257
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Yeah. Adverts will be small. All the more reason I expect the boring company to sell it off quickly like banks do mortgages.
     
  27. gwarren007

    gwarren007 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,494
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    I see someone like Warren Buffet or Elon Musk himself, or another backer to "donate" a chunk of change for the right to advertise/ship packages.
     
  28. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,977
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Assuming the geology is similar between Chicago and Hawthorne Cali, TBC should know about how much per mile their costs are to complete a tunnel and the time required. Wouldn't be surprised if TBC would be taking advantage of Federal mass trans incentives. Hope it works out.

    Wouldn't be surprised if they sell the operation or spin it off as a public company. Retain 51% of the stock and payout some of the income as dividends.
     
  29. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,147
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    I'm not sure people should use the "Big Dig" as a what should happen, in fact use it as a learning point in what absolutely can happen if you're not careful.

    Always wondered why private bids for public work don't include the clauses of "Your bid reflects how much you will get paid under any circumstance, make sure you factor in possible global shortages or price increases in materials, you will get a deposit up front for the cost of materials which the city/county/state owns control of should you cancel out or go bankrupt, your company should be large enough to absorb the costs of labor of a long term ongoing project if you're bidding on a project of this size" all too often you see government projects ballooning out of control so the end up 5x the cost that was originally promised.
     
  30. maxius

    maxius 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,229
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2001
    the fun thing here is at min chicago will get two 12ft round tunnels from block 37 super station site to the airport . this site has been a 300+ mil hole in the ground for a decade and the city wont have to pay a dime for the 2 tunnels to the airport.
     
  31. aaronspink

    aaronspink [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,759
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    The Big Dig was largely before modern tunnel boring machines. It also was a rather complex project that completely replaced the expressway through the entire city. They in part had to dig under multiple 100+ year old tunnels that were under sky scrapers that were all built in basically junk fill.
     
  32. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,454
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2005
    I had to chuckle a little at this. while everything you said is 100% true this is the same thing that explains why there isn't fiber everywhere as it would be 30+ years ROI on fiber projects yet the mindset for that is always companies need to just realize 30-50 year ROIs are part of doing business and deal with them. Here you are admitting most businesses can't survive that long waiting to break even.
     
  33. Chas

    Chas [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,060
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005

    You do not simply start digging tunnels under a major metropolitan area.

    It's not like:

    Elon: "Look! I have a tunneling machine!"
    Chicago: "GO FOR IT!"

    TBC has put in ONE small, man-height tunnel UNDER THEIR OWN PROPERTY at this point.

    There's LOTS of shit underneath the streets in Chicago-proper. And drilling into the wrong thing can have HUGE repercussions.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1992/04/14/...sed-down-as-river-s-water-floods-tunnels.html
     
  34. Chas

    Chas [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,060
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005

    That's the problem with Chicago. It's swampland. TBC won't be putting a tunnel in deep enough to even hit the first layer of bedrock under Chicago. So it's all clay and semi-compacted earth (and in downtown's case, loose rubble and landfill).

    The stuff may as well be water during a quake.

    And unless they're making the tunnel walls SEVERAL FEET thick, a significant quake will snap it like a twig.

    The last quake that hit the Chicago area was a measly 3.8.
    But the New Madrid Fault has kicked the center of the country with quakes as high as 8. It was said to ring church bells in BOSTON. It's also known to have caused the loose prairie soil to literally SWALLOW small buildings.
     
  35. motomonkey

    motomonkey [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,237
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009

    That's not what he was implying. The implication was that someone would kill the project, not that they were not going to do due diligence in researching the engineering and environmental issues. geez.
     
  36. dreadcthulhu

    dreadcthulhu [H]Lite

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2017
    It is interesting how all of Musk's companies setting up the building blocks for a colony on Mars. The Boring Company for instance - being able to dig tunnels on Mars will be vital for setting up habitats that are safely shielded from radiation. Of course, in some ways building a tunnel on Mars will be easier than Earth; no seismic activity to worry about, or old tunnels/pipelines/cables to run into. Musk really wants to get things going on Mars. I wish more billionaires would sink their money into interesting projects like this; rather than pedestrian pursuits like buy sports teams.
     
    Wade88 and Tych-0 like this.
  37. Bawjaws

    Bawjaws Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    252
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    It's almost as if the cost of these tunnels is more than just the cost of paying for a machine to do the actual boring. Typically digging under a major metropolitan area isn't just digging through virgin rock and earth, because it's usually full of existing tunnels, drains and sewer works, electricity cables, and other utilities. The cost tends to come from having to move these things, or tunnelling around them. It's not like you just start at the city centre, point your boring machine at the airport, wedge a fucking brick on the accelerator and watch that sucker drill all the way to the destination :)
     
  38. Chas

    Chas [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,060
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    The problem is, that such issues WOULD be a cause for killing said project.
     
  39. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

    Messages:
    13,147
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    Look I get that, especially in cities with skyscrapers so their supports are hammered DEEP into the ground so you can't even really go under them feasible which is why many subway/underground lines follow city streets in big cities. But the costs of making tunnels is astronomically high regardless of where they are made, even if they're in the middle of no where they are expensive. As an example when they put a 4th tunnel in a hill (Caldecott tunnel) for traffic it was not under a city, and the composure of the material that made up the hill was known it basically paralleled the other 3 tunnels, and it cost something like $400 million for a little more than a half mile, or basically a little more than $600 million per mile, now sure they put in a roadway, and ventilation but they already paid for the right-a-way to the area some half century earlier so they didn't have to pay for land. It's just crazy how fucking expensive it was.
     
  40. motomonkey

    motomonkey [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,237
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Well, sure, and Elon Musk might get hit by Lightning, but these are known issues, companies deal with all this red tape for every single project they do. it's not like it's something they can't handle. it would be very unusual for a project like this, that has the backing of the City to be killed off, unless the contractor is grossly incompetent. and even then the bidding process would just begin again with a new contractor selected. The original post I replied to was implying the project would be killed because it was won by Elon Musk.