Elon Musk’s The Boring Company has officially broken ground on its tunnel in Los Angeles, the tech entrepreneur announced last night in a series of Tweets.
No longer waiting for Godot. It has begun boring and just completed the first segment of tunnel in LA.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 28, 2017
“Godot,” the tunnel boring machine named after the Samuel Beckett novel and play “Waiting for Godot,” had completed the first segment of the tunnel in the City of Angels. This development comes after the news that Musk’s company had secured its permit to build the tunnel.
Musk had previously announced that he and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti had promising talks about the company, which was not quite an official endorsement, but laid the groundwork for a positive relationship.
According to CNBC, the first tunnel is slated to go from Los Angeles International Airport to Culver City, with tunnels going from LAX to other major cities in the works. The Boring Company uses “electric sled” propulsion technology to move vehicles throughout the tunnel, going up to speeds of around 125 mph.
Los Angeles had been earmarked as one of the more complex areas that Musk’s The Boring Company will have to navigate when it comes to regulatory approval. The densely packed cities, powerful residents and fears over instability of the ground in the event of an earthquake contribute to the problem.
Los Angeles is not the only city trying to get in the tunnel game. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel looks to formally seek bidders on an O’Hare link later in 2017, with an eye on bidders who could finance their own project. The city’s deputy mayor, Steve Koch, visited Musk a week ago to discuss the project, getting a fast-rail between O’Hare International Airport and the Chicago Loop business district.
According to Koch, the line to O’Hare would offer smaller-sized passenger cars that would leave as soon as they’re filled using the “electric sled” propulsion technology.
With the groundbreaking announcement last night on the West Coast, a huge step was taken in overcoming the regulatory hoops Musk and Co. had to jump through to begin building its first tunnel for Los Angeles. The fact that the company could break ground clears the way for other cities to potentially take a stab at tunneling.