Officials say the new tunnel to Elon Musk’s beach cannot be reached fast enough

Even by Las Vegas standards, the 1.7-mile tunnel, which opens on Tuesday, opens to transport visitors to the city’s convention center, creating a spectacle, especially among elected officials in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Masu.

In recent months, three separate groups of officials and business leaders from Fort Lauderdale have traveled to Las Vegas to study this tunnel loop, where a human-driven Tesla car carries passengers between three stations. did.

They also welcomed two officials from Elon Musk’s Boring Company, who built the Vegas tunnel, toured Fort Lauderdale, and Mayor Dean Trantalis became a tunnel nearly three miles below the city for $ 30 million. We talked about the construction that we want to do. The deputy mayor aims to open by the end of 2022. Heather Moraitis I have written To Governor Ron DeSantis seeking state funding for the project so that the city can ideally extend beyond a single tunnel to the beach.

“We are very close to the deal,” Trantalis said, and said other companies were invited to bid on Boring Co. to compete.

Mayor Dean Trantalis of Fort Lauderdale will speak on July 18, 2019.  (Susan Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP file)

Mayor Dean Trantalis of Fort Lauderdale will speak on July 18, 2019. (Susan Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP file)

However, if recent history is some guidance, successful results are not guaranteed. Fort Lauderdale and other South Florida cities and counties, Miami, may be We aim to be a Boring Company.Las Vegas’ new tunnel solves transportation problems with a clear part of the tunnel’s historic cost. The San Bernardino County Transport Authority, east of Los Angeles, has also recently Approved formal negotiations A tunnel will be constructed with Boring Co. to connect Ontario International Airport to Metrolink Station, which is approximately 4 miles away.

But the Boring Company — Mask also owns Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink — has proposed a tunnel project to build in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Baltimore. It looks like there has never been a meaningful startComparing previous and current versions of the Boring Co. website, the site does not mention projects in these three cities. Transportation authorities in these three cities were asked if Fort Lauderdale leaders would provide advice on future developments, but declined to respond.

More and more civil engineering experts and tunnel industry veterans are also questioning Mr. Musk’s assumptions. Bet on the future of American tunnels: He can bore them much faster and cheaper than ever before. A recent editor’s note in the journal Tunneling Journal dismissed Mask’s Vegas tunnel as just a “vanity project.” In February, Martin Herrenknecht, CEO of Herrenknecht, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of tunnel excavators, said: Rejected In an interview with a German business magazine, Musk said he was “full of enthusiasm.”

Jean JaoA professor of civil engineering at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and a tunnel boring expert, the Boring Company “did not know if things could be done as promised,” given the current approach. Said. I haven’t seen any new technology mentioned. “

Tunnel boring machine during a media tour at the Las Vegas Convention Center on November 15, 2019.  (John Locher / AP file)

Tunnel boring machine during a media tour at the Las Vegas Convention Center on November 15, 2019. (John Locher / AP file)

The Boring Company, Musk and Musk’s assistant, Omid Afshire, declined to request comment. But, Public hearing on December 16, 2020Prior to the Las Vegas City Council, Boring CEO Steve Davis advertised his company’s plans to extend beyond the existing tunnel beneath the convention center. He called the proposed Las Vegas loop extension “safe, reliable, and very affordable public transport,” adding that “the system does not receive any public funding.” I did. Entry into Clark County was important to the company.

“Our goal is to expand as much as possible,” he said.

Tunnel vision

The Boring Company, like many of Musk’s ideas, seems to have been whimsical.

Mask became famous in December 2016 Tweeted: “Traffic is frustrating me. Build a tunnel boring machine and start drilling …” Within six months Boring Co. was born and drilled in the SpaceX parking lot in Hawthorne, CA. have started.

About two years ago, a tunnel over a mile was completed. This was the company’s first tunnel and was completed at a cost of less than $ 10 million.

Elon Musk Announces The Boring Company Los Angeles Test Tunnel (Robyn Beck / Bloomberg via Getty Images File)

Elon Musk Announces The Boring Company Los Angeles Test Tunnel (Robyn Beck / Bloomberg via Getty Images File)

“Today, tunneling is very expensive, and many projects cost between $ 100 million and $ 1 billion per mile,” Boring said. Say on that website“To make a large tunnel network feasible, the cost of tunnel construction needs to be reduced by more than a tenth. Boring Co.’s loop tunnels are currently priced at around 10 million per mile. It’s a dollar. “

By comparison, the ongoing project is designed to extend the Los Angeles metro system by nine miles. Costs over $ 9 billionHowever, the project features a full-capacity train that can carry hundreds of Angelenos at a time, rather than carrying up to four adult passengers on a single Tesla.

Critically, the short test tunnel that The Boring Company built just outside Los Angeles International Airport was built entirely on private land and required few permits, environmental investigations, legal challenges, or other bureaucratic hurdles. Was.

Beach dream

Officials at Fort Lauderdale are particularly interested in how the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority, the government agency that owns and operates the Las Vegas Convention Center complex, paid for the $ 52.5 million tunnel. In that case, authorities paid Boring Co. $ 47 million and a third-party inspector $ 5.5 million. However, they plan to provide the meeting attendees with a car for free.

Trantalis estimates: About $ 30 million, Boring was able to build a tunnel extending from downtown Fort Lauderdale to just below the entrance to the beach. But it is still unclear who the taxpayer, the state government, or the Boring Company itself will bear the bill. Not clear. One possibility is that the mask company could cover the construction costs and collect the freight as a way to recover the costs. This model is similar to what was previously proposed in other major cities across the country. But these projects are far from getting out of the blueprints.

“It costs $ 5 or $ 6 to take this route. Given that it costs $ 4 an hour to park on the beach, it’s definitely better to take something like this. “Trantalis says.

Ultimately, he hopes that these human-driven cars will be replaced by self-driving cars or other higher-capacity cars. HyperloopThis theoretical high-speed train was invented by Mr. Musk himself nearly 10 years ago, and the pods move in a sealed vacuum. However, even if such a viable system is actually realized, it is still halfway in the real world.

Still, Fort Lauderdale’s deputy mayor, Moraitis, is convinced that the next is a higher capacity vehicle.

“If they can build a tunnel, they can definitely build the right kind of car to move people,” she said. “If they could make SpaceX and their rockets, they could certainly make a longer Tesla!”

Elon Musk's The Boring Company Announces California Test Tunnel (Robyn Beck / Pool via Getty Images)

Elon Musk’s The Boring Company reveals test tunnel in California (Robyn Beck / Pool via Getty Images)

Broken promise

However, since the bowling test tunnel near Los Angeles International Airport went live, it was flooded with headlines that the high-profile bowling project proposed across the United States had been cancelled.

This included plans to build a 2.5-mile tunnel along the 405 Expressway at the western end of Los Angeles in 2017. However, locals immediately complained that the project was improperly exempt from environmental review. Brentwood Residents Coalition and Boring Co. Settled In November 2018, the project went nowhere.

The day after the proceedings to end the proceedings, The Boring Company Similar projects Called the “Dugout Loop,” it took Los Angeles Dodgers fans to the stadium a few miles west of Dodger Stadium. In August 2018, Dodgers CFO Tucker Kane said: CNBC He expected the project to be ready within two years. However, the project, like other projects in town, is not progressing. Both LA projects have been removed from the Boring Co. website.

Los Angeles Dodgers spokeswoman Shannon Murphy asked The Boring Company for further questions.

In chicagoIn June 2018, Boring Co. went one step further and created computerized renderings. imagine What would such an automated transportation system look like to transport passengers to and from O’Hare International Airport? But almost three years later, a new mayor was born, but the Chicago O’Hare Express didn’t happen.

“The plan you’re looking for has been cancelled,” an email was sent to Michael Claffey, a spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The most ambitious project ever proposed is “From Washington DC to the Baltimore Loop Project,A 35-mile tunnel that is wholly owned by The Boring Company and uses high-speed electric vehicles to move passengers underground. The company 500-page environmental assessment But two years later, the project also disappeared from Boring Co.’s website.

“I think Tesla had the expectation that he would start digging a hole, deal with it if something got in the way, and continue digging,” said Pete Larn, Secretary of Transportation, Maryland. “It’s not how the system works in a public environment.”

Rahn said he was interested in the potential transformative power of high-speed underground tunnels, but the project requires a great deal of research and approval from federal, state, and county agencies, and is final. I noticed that it ended in failure.

“I’m disappointed that the project isn’t very advanced in Maryland and it’s not unexpected, but I thought there were a lot of promises,” he added. “They seemed to be taking an approach to break bureaucracy, but that didn’t happen.”

Florida applicants

Still, some Fort Lauderdale officials are optimistic that other cities in the United States will be able to successfully build a failed tunnel network. They have officially disapproved Boring Co. this summer. Expecting to submit a proposal. The Mayor of Trantalis says that building a “Tesla-driven 12-foot tunnel” that is significantly smaller than a traditional railroad tunnel would make such a project more than most infrastructure projects. Much less, he said, meaning “from $ 10 million to $ 15 million.” Per mile. “

After all, local politicians said the city was already successful Demolition of an old professional soccer stadium Design and build new ones in less than a year. They point to the stadium as evidence that the city can move forward with infrastructure projects quickly.

Chris Lager Bloom, manager of the city of Fort Lauderdale, said, “We are and will do so to eliminate the government jobs that have existed in the government.

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