Pittsburgh to Philadelphia route – another feasibility study orderedMarch 18, 2019
Pennsylvania is another location on the map, where the Hyperloop system will be considered as a supplementation of existing means of transportation.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) was created to construct, finance, operate, and maintain the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which is a toll highway in the state of Pennsylvania. It runs for 580 km across the state.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a four-year contract with AECOM a consulting company to review the potential for a hyperloop system that would extend the state’s transportation network. The cost is estimated at around $2 million. Last fall, the state House approved a resolution and ordered this kind of study. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and the state Department of Transportation will form an advisory group and work with AECOM on that.
“This is a technology that can change us as a state, change us as a region,” said Robert Taylor, Chief Technology Officer at PTC.
Barry Altman, a communication specialist in the turnpike’s information technology division, said the study will determine whether the use of hyperloop technology will help or hurt the turnpike’s operation and referred to technology’s feasibility.
“Our interest in it is to take a look at it to see how we can use it to grow our business and what threat it presents to our business,” said Barry Altman. “We don’t see it as a technology that will supersede our business. We’re looking at it interfacing with what we do. (…) “I think it’s solid technology.(…) They are taking existing technology from a number of areas and assembling it in a system that’s going to be very workable.”
The study will also look at legal or environmental concerns about the technology and study whether a cross-state route linking Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, plus an extension from Philadelphia to Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, should be pursued.
State Rep. Aaron Kaufer, proposed the resolution, which said the state has an opportunity to benefit from hyperloop technology “by leveraging corporate and institutional talent and resources to participate in the research and development of the technology, and the supply chain needed to produce and construct hyperloop corridors.”
In this region AECOM is already working with the Mid-Ohio planners on a feasibility study of the proposed Pittsburgh-Columbus-Chicago corridor. Another consultancy company is doing a preliminary environmental impact study, and both should be finished this summer.
The turnpike’s study will start next month and must be completed by April 2020, but turnpike officials said they expect it to be done earlier.