A study by Overland Park engineering company Black & Veatch has found that an ultra-fast hyperloop route along Interstate 70 — one that could transport people between Kansas City and St. Louis in 28 minutes — could be viable.
Hyperloop, a form of surface transportation that carries passengers in pods through low-pressure tubes that reduce friction, is under development by Virgin Hyperloop One. The technology has been through early testing, but has not been put in practice in any large-scale fashion.
If and when it is, Missouri is clambering to be an early adopter of the technology.
In January, Black & Veatch was hired by the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition to study whether I-70 could support a route.
The study says geography along I-70 is conducive to hyperloop, made better by the fact that the Missouri Department of Transportation owns most of the right-of-way along the interstate.
The study also adds that hyperloop could reduce overall transportation costs by $91 million a year from fewer accidents along congested I-70. It also projects that the cost to take a hyperloop from Kansas City to St. Louis would be less than the cost of gas from driving.
Hyperloop in Missouri, or anywhere else, remains far from reality. Testing would have to move along, and important details, like who pays for the route, have not been established.