OVERLAND PARK, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As part of a coalition exploring a way to transform travel, Black &
Veatch embraced the challenge to assess the viability of something
seemingly ripped from a sci-fi novel: Zipping people and cargo at
hundreds of miles an hour across Missouri – in pods, through a tube.
Black & Veatch spent months on that feasibility study – the first
examining a “hyperloop” system in the U.S.
The conclusion: That concept by transportation technology company Virgin
Hyperloop One will work.
Now for that exhaustive, independent evaluation of a possible route
between St. Louis and Kansas City, Black & Veatch has a new addition to
its trophy case – a coveted regional award honoring the global
engineering and infrastructure solutions giant’s work to advance
As part of the latest Arcus Awards in St. Louis, Black & Veatch
gratefully accepted the BMO Harris Bank St. Louis Spirit Award, given to
an entity that advances an innovation, cutting-edge technology or
industry best practice extending St. Louis’ history and global stature
as a hub of innovation and forward-looking vision.
Awards finalists included dozens of companies, organizations,
educational institutions and government agencies whose efforts were
judged according to how they enhance that region’s living, working and
investment environments. The honors align with the St. Louis Regional
Chamber’s strategy to leverage economic strengths, stoke economic
opportunity and advocate forward-thinking economic policies.
“We certainly are gratified and humbled by this recognition,” said
Bently Green, a St. Louis-based Black & Veatch associate vice president.
“We cherish our newfound relationship with the St. Louis Chamber, and
being viewed by our metro area as someone who is being innovative and
driving interest in St. Louis is wonderful.”
Evoking images of the famously futuristic travel thinking of the
television’s animated series “The Jetsons,” hyperloop conceptually
involves whisking passengers and cargo in pods hundreds of miles per
hour through a low-pressure tube. Backers of the technology’s
application in Missouri say that such a trip between Kansas City and St.
Louis would take roughly a half hour, a far cry from the four hours
required to drive it now. Black & Veatch, in the feasibility
study released last October, deemed the project commercially
plausible, given that a leading possible route – the Interstate 70
corridor linking those two regional hubs – already is flat and straight.
Working with stakeholders that included the University of Missouri
system, the Missouri Department of Transportation, the St. Louis Chamber
and the KC Tech Council, Black & Veatch’s report exhaustively examined
the social impact, station locations, regulatory issues, route
alignments and rights-of-way associated with the project.
Missouri’s storied place in risk-taking and discovery already is
unmistakable, notably in travel. Missouri long has touted itself as the
1950s birthplace of the nation’s interstate highway system –
then-President Eisenhower’s vision for America’s 20th-century
transportation. In St. Louis, the towering Gateway Arch along the
Mississippi River – famously a force in inland commerce – celebrates
westward expansion and the launch point of Lewis and Clark’s exploration
from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean.
“Now there’s opportunity for St. Louis to be a starting point of the
future hyperloop network that cuts to just a half hour the time it takes
to get from there to Kansas City – a trip that would have taken Lewis
and Clark days, if not weeks,” said Drew Thompson, Black & Veatch’s
director of data center and mission critical facility solutions.
“We see hyperloop as tomorrow’s freeway,” added Thompson, a project lead
on the Missouri Hyperloop feasibility study. “And as a company that’s
innovated in infrastructure for more than a century, working with Virgin
Hyperloop One on a reimagined, revolutionary way to move people and
goods was something we naturally embraced.”
Diana Zhou, Virgin Hyperloop One’s director of project strategy, said
that company welcomes continued outreach about the Missouri hyperloop
concept and Virgin Hyperloop’s outreach with Black & Veatch and others
in the Missouri coalition.
“Everyone we’ve been working with in the state has a can-do attitude
when it comes to thinking about new technologies,” she said. “We are
looking forward to a great conversation about what it takes to bring the
hyperloop to Missouri.”
About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical
human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government
Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of
people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering,
construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2017
were US$3.4 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com
and in social media.
Black & Veatch
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