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April 12, 2018 12:30 PM, EDT
Hyperloop Could Provide ‘Resilient Solution’ for Transportation, Expert Says
Hyperloop Hyperloop concept drawing. (Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)

The high-speed Hyperloop transit system entrepreneur Elon Musk proposes to build on the East Coast has the potential to withstand the impact severe weather may have on older infrastructure.

Such resilient infrastructure would prove useful in the event other modes of transportation were to fail due to a severe weather event, such as Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Sonecon Managing Director Paul Stockton said at the American Enterprise Institute on April 11. Sonecon is a management and consulting firm based in Washington.

Hyperloop Rendering

Hyperloop rendering. (Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)

“These kinds of cross-sector vulnerabilities between energy and transportation systems, I think, are another reason to be looking at Hyperloop,” Stockton said. “Because to the extent that Hyperloop can rely on autonomous sources of power — solar, whatever — and build resilience into the heart of the transportation system as opposed to systems that are more vulnerable to these cascading failures and interdependencies between sectors, I think it’s another reason to look at Hyperloop as a potentially resilient solution to our transportation problems.”

In Maryland, transportation officials have sounded enthusiastic about Musk’s The Boring Co., and have granted authority for digging tunnels under the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, have pushed back on the high-speed transit system, questioning the impact it could have on the environment. It is unclear when the large-scale project would be completed.

“As we assess the project and the numerous competing plans for the Baltimore-Washington corridor, we seek additional information that will enable us to understand how the proposed Hyperloop would be regulated, as well as the opportunities our constituents will have to provide comments and feedback on the project,” the lawmakers wrote to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on March 28.

The Trump administration recently highlighted the Hyperloop. Derek Kan, undersecretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation, touted the project and noted it could qualify as a transformative concept under the President Donald Trump’s 10-year, $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal. The administration has proposed $20 billion for such futuristic projects.

The Republican-led Congress has yet to legislate Trump’s plan.