Elon Musk’s Boring Co. Eyes Fort Lauderdale Loop

Just weeks after Elon Musk’s Boring Company opened a tunnel loop spanning just 1.5 miles underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center and offering a grand total of three stops, the company is now looking to bring its Teslas-in-a-tunnel technology to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, seeking to connect downtown with the beach area. Dubbed the Las Olas Loop, the project would be the third major commercial tunneling effort undertaken the company has taken, after the LVCC tunnel and the larger Vegas loop connecting the Vegas strip to the Convention Center and McCarran airport.

Fort Lauderdale city officials had met with the Boring Co. in the winter of this year regarding possible projects for the city, but specifics regarding a loop system had been scarce. The city is one of several that had expressed interest in the Boring Company’s tunnels, along with neighboring Miami, which received some publicity earlier this year mostly relating to possible issues with constructing tunnels under the city.

“Fort Lauderdale has received a proposal from Elon Musk’s The Boring Co. to build an underground transit loop between downtown and the beach. Called ‘The Las Olas Loop,’ this represents an innovative and unprecedented approach to addressing traffic congestion and transit needs,” Fort Lauderdale mayor Dean J. Trantalis wrote on Twitter.

The name Las Olas refers to the boulevard leading from the center of the city, just east of Interstate 95, to the beaches, and which crosses a relatively isolated residential area with numerous canals, and also happens to be one of the few major thoroughfares connecting the beaches to rest of the city. A potential tunnel system for special Tesla cars would have to cover at least a couple of miles underneath the Las Olas Isles and East Fort Lauderdale. As such, the project would be of greater complexity than the Vegas loop, which is not slated to be located under any canals, rivers or lakes.

The Boring Company’s overall concept for solving congestion has received plenty of skepticism since it was first unveiled, with a number of industry observers noting that the loop system does not offer advantages over subways or above-ground trams in terms of passenger capacity, while still requiring most of the infrastructure that a subway system would require. The company’s plans have also been criticized for being an underground road system that does not permit outside vehicles to enter, thus being more limited than a traditional tunnel road system.

The Boring Company’s proposed tunnels do seek to address one of the existing issues relating to building tunnels.

“Currently, tunnels are really expensive to dig, with many projects costing between $100 million and $1 billion per mile,” the company notes. “In order to make vast tunnel networks feasible, tunneling costs must be reduced by a factor of more than 10, with TBC’s Loop tunnels currently priced at approximately $10 million per mile.”

Still, the company’s Miami plans had come under heavy criticism on social media a few months prior from engineers and Miami residents alike, with some pointing out that Miami is just a few feet above sea level and that many houses in the area don’t have basements for this reason.

The Boring Company itself has not made any proposals for the city public at this point, but the two linked areas noted by the mayor would certainly necessitate tunneling under a substantial area of water.


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