D.C. to Baltimore Loop Tunnel Project | Virtual Public Presentation
The Washington D.C. to Baltimore Loop Project (Project), proposed by The Boring Company, consists of the construction of a set of parallel, twin tunnels (one in each direction) which would transport passengers in high-speed, autonomous, battery-powered electric vehicles. The proposed tunnels would run in parallel for approximately 35.3 miles beneath the public right-of-way of US 50/New York Avenue Northeast, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, MD 295 and Russell Street from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, Maryland. The proposed Project would be entirely funded by The Boring Company.
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA), acting as the state agency project sponsor, has facilitated an environmental review of the proposed Project (Draft Environmental Assessment) in coordination with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), acting as the lead Federal agency. For a brief summary of the proposed Project and its potential environmental effects, see the video below, or refer to the Frequently Asked Questions. Closed captioning (CC) of the Virtual Information Presentation below can be enabled through clicking the CC button on the bottom right hand corner of the video. Spanish transcript of the presentation can be downloaded here.
Draft Environmental Assessment
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of projects that require federal funding, approvals, or permits prior to making decisions. When a new project is initiated and the potential for environmental effects is not yet known, an Environmental Assessment (EA) is prepared. An EA provides public officials with relevant information and analysis for determining whether to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). NEPA requires federal agencies to seek comment from the public on the proposed Project prior to making decisions. The Washington D.C. to Baltimore Loop Project Draft EA has been prepared in compliance with NEPA. The original comment period was closed on June 10, 2019. Due to public interest in having additional time to review and provide comprehensive comments on the Draft EA, the FHWA has reopened the public comment period, which has ended on July 17, 2019. A copy of the Draft EA is available for download here. Hard copies of the Draft EA were made available for review at the following locations:
Maryland City at Russett Community Library | 3501 Russett Common Laurel, MD 20724
Severn Community Library | 2624 Annapolis Road Severn, MD 21144
Washington Village Branch Library | 856 Washington Blvd Baltimore, MD 21230
West County Area Branch Library | 1325 Annapolis Rd Odenton, MD 21113
Draft Section 106 Programmatic Agreement
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires federal agencies to consider the potential effects of their undertakings, actions that involve federal funding, approvals, or permits on historic properties, such as buildings and archaeological sites. Federal agencies must also seek and consider the views of the public as part of the Section 106 process. When the potential effects on historic properties are complex, and/or cannot be fully determined prior to approval of an undertaking, an agency’s obligations under Section 106 may be satisfied by execution of a legally binding Programmatic Agreement (PA). FHWA has developed a Draft PA in consultation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), the District of Columbia and Maryland State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), and other consulting parties, through which it proposes to satisfy the Section 106 requirements for the proposed Project. FHWA notified the public that the Draft Section 106 PA was available at this site in a Federal Register notice published on April 24, 2019. The Draft PA was made available to the public for a 45-day comment period which ended on June 10, 2019. A copy of the Draft PA is available for download here.
What happens after the Draft EA and Draft PA public comment period is over?
Comments will be reviewed by FHWA before deciding whether to proceed with a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).
Prior to construction and operation of the proposed Project, TBC must obtain all necessary permits, approvals and property rights. As part of this process, TBC will complete detailed design and determine their right-of-way needs for all project components.
What is Loop?
Loop is a high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported in autonomous electric vehicles (AEVs) traveling at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.
Will this project receive state and/or federal funding?
No. Design, construction and operation of the project is completely privately funded by TBC.
Is this completely underground?
The entire 35-mile alignment of the twin 12-foot inner diameter tunnels is subsurface. The only surface access points that would occur are 1) two Loop Station locations at the end of the Main Artery Tunnels, which provide a mechanism to enter and exit the Loop System; 2) Up to 4 tunnel boring machine (TBM) “Launch Shafts” located on private property adjacent to the alignment, which could serve as maintenance facilities once construction is complete; and 3) Up to 70 Ventilation Shafts located on property purchased or leased by TBC adjacent to the tunnel alignment. The subsurface tunnels connecting the Main Artery Tunnels to the Ventilation Shafts would be between 12 and 24 feet in diameter.
How deep will the tunnel be?
While depth would vary, the proposed tunnels would generally be at least 30-feet deep to minimize the ability to detect construction at the surface.
Where would the stations be located?
Loop Stations would be located on private land and would provide access to enter and exit the Loop System. The Loop Station at the northern terminus of the alignment would be located at the parking area at 333 Camden Street, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD. The Loop Station at the southern terminus would be located at 55 New York Avenue Northeast, Washington, D.C.
How long would the trip take?
Passengers would be able to travel from downtown Washington D.C. to downtown Baltimore in approximately 15 minutes.
How much would a trip cost?
The fares are not finalized but would be comparable to or lower than current public transportation fares.
Is this the same as MAGLEV?
No. These are two separate and unaffiliated proposed projects. The two projects employ different transportation architectures and technologies.
Is the idea that the Loop will become the Hyperloop someday?
Loop tunnels are designed to be compatible with Hyperloop requirements. Hyperloop is an ultra-high-speed public transportation system in which passengers would be transported in autonomous electric pods traveling at 600+ miles per hour in a pressurized cabin. A Hyperloop trip from D.C. to New York would take less than 30 minutes. Similarly, a Hyperloop trip from D.C. to Baltimore would take less than 8 minutes.