A study is being done to determine whether it makes financial sense to have a high-speed tube-like transportation system in the Show-Me State, according to the Missouri Hyperloop Coalition. The group aims to construct a Hyperloop route linking Kansas City, Columbia, and St. Louis along the I-70 corridor.

Members of Missouri Hyperloop Coalition (Photo courtesy of Jill Enders)

Diana Zhou, Strategy Manager for Hyperloop One, says travel from St. Louis to Kansas City would take under thirty minutes with a system like Hyperloop.

“The speed is actually one of the most exciting parts of the Hyperloop system. We expect go at 670 miles an hour.” Zhou says.

The feasibility study will analyze the technical alignment as well as the potential economic impact and benefits of integrating Hyperloop into the I-70 corridor connecting Kansas City, Columbia, and St. Louis. It will also outline the next steps required for an eventual Hyperloop project in the state, including development of a high-level cost estimate and funding model recommendations to enable the project to move forward.

The Missouri Hyperloop Coalition, is a public-private partnership. Black and Veatch, a global engineering firm headquartered in Kansas City, will conduct the study in partnership with Virgin Hyperloop One and the University of Missouri System.

Drew Thompson, an executive with Black and Veatch says this project could be a game changer for the region.

“What if you can tie the economies of St. Louis and Kansas City together? It makes both of us stronger and you’ve got Columbia in the middle from an education standpoint. You could conceivably live in one city and commute to the other,” says Thompson.

A Hyperloop system was part of Missouri’s regional proposal in its bid for Amazon’s second headquarters.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is also included in the process of this study.

“MoDOT is committed to delivering transportation solutions of lasting value and moving passengers and freight across Missouri safely and reliably. The State of Missouri will be a beneficiary of the feasibility study, and we look forward to contributing data and information to the study. We are especially pleased that the private sector is taking the helm and MoDOT will be able to participate without using Missouri taxpayer dollars,” says Michael DeMers, Director of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding at the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The study is being funded through the private sector. The Coalition declined to release the cost of this study. It’s expected to be completed in 7 to 9 months.

By Missourinet Contributor Jill Enders