What do we do now that there's no more room to build freeways in LA? Why we build build freeways underground of course. As we twittle our thumbs sitting in traffic wishing we could drive under those pesky San Gabriel Mountains or through those dumb craftsman homes in South Pasadena, the government is working up billion dollar ideas to make our dreams come true.
[...] Los Angeles is in its 18th year as the nation's most congested metropolis, freeways have little or no space for new lanes and traffic experts are running out of time-shaving options.
So civic leaders are joining engineers to consider burrowing the longest highway tunnels in America.
"Tunnels," said Wolfgang Roth, a geotechnical engineer working on one possible project in the Antelope Valley, "may finally have their day."
Word to that, Wolfgang. Now that technologies used in Europe and Japan are making tunnel-digging simpler, Southern California traffic engineers are having visions of underground highway networks. We're a tad cautious, however, having seen the History Channel expose on the clusterfuck that was Boston's Big Dig. We've also heard the stories from up north where the new Bay Bridge has turned into a colossal mess - overbudget and off-schedule. Oh yeah, there's also that whole earthquake thing.
There's still lots of planning to do before the first hole is dug, and we're guessing some creative financing.
· Underground Routes Eyed as a Traffic Fix [LA Times]