Boring Tunneling Cost Predicted to Be $4-5 Million Per Mile

Boring Revolution follows the work at the Boring Company very closely. He is projecting Boring Company to reach about 50-70 Meters per day in 2021 and just under $6 million per mile. This would be about a mile of tunneling per month. Will projects Boring Company improving quite a bit of next 3 years and then leveling off in improvement. He thinks Boring Company will level out at tunneling a mile in ten days and the cost per mile to level out at $4 million per mile.

This would be far less than Boring Company goals. The Boring Company’s Prufrock digging machine is designed to tunnel at a speed that’s greater than 1 mile per week. This is already six times faster than Godot+, the machine that completed the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Loop. The Boring Company has the goal for an all-electric TBM’s goal to exceed 1/10 of a human’s walking speed (5000 meters per hour). One-tenth of walking speed is 500 meters per hour. This would be far beyond what Boring Revolution is expecting.

The key improvements in the Prufrock-2 are installing the precast segments while the TBM is advancing (without having to stop the TBM), use of electricity rather than diesel (make the ventilation system easier), and use of rubber tire locomotives or cars to transport spoils out of the tunnel (less groundborne noise, vibration, and above-ground settlement).

Boring Revolution is expecting Boring Company to get close to its near-term goal of 1 mile per week with 1 mile in 9 days. This would still be disruptive.

SOURCES- Torque News, Boring Revolution, Boring Company
Written by Brian Wang,

10 thoughts on “Boring Tunneling Cost Predicted to Be $4-5 Million Per Mile”

  1. self driving hoppers would be game changer, but there are practical physical limits due to the pickup cycle at the TBM though.

  2. I think 50m/hour would be quite an accomplishment. I don't think the surrounding logistics could support 500m/h.

  3. Agreed. 500m per hour is very ambitious, let alone 5000m per hour.
    If they can somehow do it, great.
    I won't hold my breath on that though. Not until I see some real progress.

  4. But all of that happens offline, before the Boring Company ever shows up to drill.
    Effectively, this will mean longer waits between customers (at first) and not a backlog of orders like Tesla has.
    I say at first, because if the first couple tunnels completed produce huge success for their cities, local legislatures will move Heaven and Earth to fast-track those permits.
    In the mean time, there are remote places where tunnels would add a huge benefit. Fewer inhabitants, less regulation, etc. These may be among the first customers.

    Once cities get on board with this and begin fast-tracking the red tape, there could be a backlog. Whichever city acts first will get a much faster response from Boring.

  5. That article says:

    The executive noted that he believes The Boring Company will not reach the same heights as Musk’s other ventures like Tesla and SpaceX in the next ten years or so due to the complexity of the tunneling segment. “I think the degree of difficulty and complexity in tunneling are higher,” Herrenknecht remarked. 

    Right. Creating giant reusable rockets isn't complex at all. It's not tunnel science!

  6. Tunneling isn't the issue. It is everything else – permits, land rights, moving utilities, building the stations, fire safety etc.

    If you want to build a tunnel, these are the things that will you will spend your money and time on.

  7. 500 m per hour would be a massive logistical challenge to remove spoil and deliver tunnel segments!

    500m x 4.2m diameter is 7000 cubic meters of spoil per hour. A dump truck can maybe move 7 cubic meters per trip. So 1000 dump trucks per hour to remove the spoil… You would need a train to keep up!

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