First phase of LA rapid-transit tunnel to be unveiled in December

The first phase of a rapid transit tunnel beneath Los Angeles, constructed by Elon Musk's Boring Co., will open in December. Photo courtesy The Boring Co.

Oct. 22 (UPI) — The first section of a proposed high-speed transportation tunnel under Los Angeles will open for public inspection on Dec. 10, Boring Co. CEO Elon Musk said on Monday.

The rapid-transit test tunnel beneath Hawthorne, Calif., is part of Musk’s vision that will use wheeled electric platforms on rails, called skates, to carry passengers at speeds of up to 130 mph.

The prototype project of “up to two miles,” Boring said, could then connect to other tunnels to be built across Los Angeles County. A high-speed network of numerous tunnels at various elevations, as well as off-ramps and a one-dollar fee for a ride, are envisioned.

“The first tunnel is almost done,” Musk tweeted Monday to his 23.1 million followers.

The plan still has numerous environmental and regulatory hurdles to overcome, but the initial phase will be open for free rides the day after the opening.

The tunnel begins on property used by SpaceX, another of Musk’s high-tech companies, and includes an underground left turn. Musk is also CEO of Tesla.

The Los Angeles City Council public works committee unanimously approved an environmental review exemption in August for a Boring tunnel running 2.7 miles through west Los Angeles. Several weeks later, two neighborhood groups sued the city over the waiver, blocking the tunnel’s progress.

Musk announced a proposal in August to construct a 3.6-mile tunnel, for passengers and not cars, between Dodger Stadium and a nearby Metro subway station.

The plan differs from the “Hyperloop” promoted by Virgin Hyperloop One, whose board chairman is Virgin Airlines founder Richard Branson. The Hyperloop uses magnets to levitate transportation pods and forced air to propel them across longer distances than Musk’s plan.


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