The Boring Company’s Chicago project seems awfully cheap for something so big

Consider the immense costs associated with transportation projects in the world, especially those that require tunnel boring: the Second Avenue Subway in New York City cost about $2.5 billion per mile, while the Line 14 Extension in Paris ran about $450 million per mile. The Boring Company claims it can dig 18 miles of tunnels for a fraction of those prices.

“What’s going to drive down costs below the subway in Paris by a factor of 10?” said Constantine Samaras, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. “I’m looking forward to finding out.“

Samaras noted that the Boring Company has been selected as what’s called a D-BOM contractor, which stands for design, build, finance, operate, and maintain. According to the Federal Highway Administration, a private entity in a D-BOM contract “is responsible for design and construction as well as long-term operation and/or maintenance services.” The public sector secures the project’s financing independently and retains the operating revenue risk. “So they’re on the hook to making sure this system performs well over time,” he said.