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The Boring Company’s garage-elevator site shows flurry of activity ahead of Dec 10 public showing

[Credit: Pauline Acalin/Teslarati]

Less than a week after Elon Musk announced that The Boring Company would be holding a public showing of its Hawthorne tunnel system on December 10, the tunneling startup’s site for its garage-elevator has started exhibiting a flurry of activity. As revealed in recent photographs of the site, The Boring Company appears to be expediting the construction of the O’Leary Station.

Recent social media uploads from The Boring Company’s official Twitter account have teased a shaft that’s being constructed on a private lot at 120th Street and Prairie Avenue, located roughly at the halfway point of the company’s 2-mile Hawthorne test tunnel. The site, which the startup dubbed as the O’Leary Station after 13-year SpaceX veteran Patrick O’Leary, appears to be part of a proof-of-concept for a tunnel design that links directly to a residential garage.

Teslarati photographer Pauline Acalin recently captured photographs of the work currently being done at the garage-elevator’s site. Compared to the first images that Teslarati photographers were able to capture earlier this month, the new set of photos show that the Prairie Ave location has been filled with more materials for the garage-elevator’s construction. A crew of workers was also busy working on the site during the time the photographs were taken. In what could be yet another teaser for an upcoming Elon Musk project, one of the workers in the site was wearing a shirt with the words “The Brick Company,” written in the same font as The Boring Company’s logo.

The Boring Company’s site for its prototype garage-elevator shows activity. [Credit: Pauline Acalin/Teslarati]

These latest images provide the closest look yet at the Boring Company’s garage-elevator concept, particularly the size of the excavation, which definitely seems designed to fit even large vehicles like trucks and full-sized SUVs. Large conventional car elevators are usually around 20 feet at their longest, but if these latest images are any indication, the diameter of the Boring Company’s garage elevator seems to be far beyond 20 feet.

In a rather clever fashion, the Boring Company’s garage elevator concept would likely serve as a point of access for tunnel maintenance, as well as an exit point for the removal of tunnel boring machine (TBM) segments. The retrieval of TBM segments defies conventional tunneling practices, since components such as TBM cutting heads are usually left underground due to the costs associated with their retrieval.

An approval for the construction of the garage-elevator concept was granted by the city council of Hawthrone last September. The design of the garage-elevator is quite straightforward. Vehicles would enter a tunnel from the SpaceX campus itself, move through a tunnel system, onto the prototype garage-elevator, and travel back into the SpaceX facility.

The Boring Company’s site for its prototype garage-elevator shows activity. [Credit: Pauline Acalin/Teslarati]

Unlike the Boring Company’s other proof-of-concept projects such as the Dugout Loop or the test tunnel that would be up for public showing on December 10, the garage-elevator would be exclusively used for testing purposes only. In a comment about the project, Boring Company representative Jane Labanowski also stated that the site would be an essential part of the tunneling startup’s vision for the future.

“It’s an important part of the longer-term vision the company is trying to build,” she said.

While the commuting public would not be utilizing the garage-elevator, it would be a great idea for The Boring Company to complete the project before the test tunnel’s public showing in December. By having the garage-elevator fully-operational by December 10, attendees of the upcoming public showing would get a clearer idea of how Elon Musk’s tunnels can make transportation faster and easier. 

While the Boring Company is a young tunneling startup that is more well-known for its clever and unique merchandise such as Elon Musk’s Not-a-Flamethrower, the company is also involved in high-profile initiatives. The Boring Company, for, managed to win a contract for the downtown Chicago-O’Hare high-speed transport system earlier this year, beating out larger conglomerates bidding on the project. If the Boring Company is successful in the Chicago-O’Hare transport line, Berenberg analyst Alexander Haissl noted that the tunneling startup could be worth as much as $16 billion.

The Boring Company’s garage-elevator site shows flurry of activity ahead of Dec 10 public showing
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