The Boring Company (TBC) has a chance to start exclusive negotiations with Fort Lauderdale city officials for its proposed Las Olas Loop.
In July, Fort Lauderdale accepted The Boring Company’s Las Olas Loop proposal but gave other firms 45 days to submit competing bids. No other companies pitched competing proposals, and the 45-day deadline passed on Monday.
Now Elon Musk’s tunneling company gets a chance to discuss an agreement with Fort Lauderdale city officials about bringing the Las Olas Loop to life. According to city spokeswoman Ashley Doussard, Fort Lauderdale’s city manager and attorney will seek the commissioners’ approval to negotiate a comprehensive or interim agreement with TBC.
“Along with negotiating an agreement with Boring, there will be a significant amount of technical and engineering and regulatory work that will need to be done,” she told Bloomberg. “Speculating on a timeline would not be possible at this point.”
The proposed Las Olas Loop will consist of two bidirectional tunnels, similar to those TBC proposed in its Ontario Airport (ONT) Loop project. The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA), who is overseeing The Boring Company’s Ontario Loop, unanimously approved the bi-directional twin tunnel system after a study revealed that it would benefit passengers in the long run.
Fort Lauderdale’s bi-directional tunnel system will extend from downtown to the beach, about 2.5 miles each way. The Las Olas Loop will have a similar setup to TBC’s Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Loop, where passengers ride Teslas to get through the tunnels.
Currently, Teslas going through the LVCC Loop are driven by human drivers. However, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) board— who agreed to pay The Boring Company $6.5 million to operate and manage the LVCC Loop—expects the Tesla cars to run autonomously by December 31, 2021. So there is a chance that the Las Olas Loop will have autonomous Teslas driving people through the tunnels by the time the project is complete.