The Boring Company recently took a step forward in its goal of building a 2.7-mile proof-of-concept tunnel in Los Angeles, CA, with the City Council Public Works Committee exempting the tunneling startup from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
The motion to exempt the Boring Company’s planned proof-of-concept tunnel under Sepulveda Boulevard in West LA and Culver City from CEQA was put forward by city councilmember Paul Koretz. Testifying before the Public Works Committee, Koretz stated that the startup’s proof-of-concept tunnel was “public transit.” A representative from the City Bureau of Engineering was more conservative, stating that the 2.7-mile tunnel would only be built to refine the Boring Company’s construction techniques, according to an SBLA report.
During the hearing, councilmembers Joe Buscaino and David Ryu proved supportive of the startup’s goals, with the former stating that approving the motion was a “no-brainer” and that the city should not “delay innovation,” and the latter stating that he was excited about the company’s “revolutionary” project.
Committee Chair Bob Blumenfield was supportive of the Boring Company’s initiatives as well. He did, however, make revisions to the initial motion, stating that Metro approval and review would be required before the company could start digging, and that the Elon Musk-led startup would be responsible for all costs for its projects, including legal fees if necessary.
With the unanimous approval of its CEQA exemption, the Boring Company’s plans of building a 2.7-mile proof-of-concept tunnel will now be forwarded to the full city council for a vote.
The Boring Company might be taking a backseat from Elon Musk’s two biggest ventures — SpaceX and Tesla — but the tunneling startup has managed to make some significant strides on its own nonetheless. Earlier this year, the Boring Company outlasted two of its rivals in its bid to be selected as the contractor for the planned downtown Chicago-O’Hare transport system. Currently, the startup is one of two contractors still bidding for the high-profile project.
Just last month, Elon Musk posted a series of updates about the startup’s plans on Twitter. According to Musk, the first projects of The Boring Co. would be focused on developing the Urban Loop, a high-speed underground transportation system specifically designed for pedestrians.
Overall, the strides that The Boring Company had made since its founding last year are quite impressive. Just recently, we reported on the startup’s first SEC filing, which ultimately revealed that the company had raised $113 million in equity. During the funding round, Elon Musk invested roughly $100 million to the startup, while the company’s “early employees” invested the remainder of the amount. The startup further noted that no venture capitalists nor outside investors were involved in the funding round.