The Boring Company’s garage-elevator site takes shape ahead of Dec 18 tunnel opening

[Credit: Pauline Acalin/Teslarati]

The Boring Company continues to make progress on the garage elevator prototype in its Prairie Avenue work site, located roughly at the halfway point of the tunneling startup’s 2-mile test tunnel in Hawthorne, CA. As the days trickle down towards the test tunnel’s unveiling on December 18, The Boring Co. appears to be digging deep in order to ensure that its projects in the area are making good progress.

On the site of the tunneling startup’s garage-elevator prototype, work continued despite last week’s rains. Teslarati photographer Pauline Acalin was in the area last Thursday, and she was able to snap some pictures of workers near the site. Returning to the elevator’s location this Monday, it was evident that work progressed, as evidenced by the disappearance of a massive structure previously set up beside the garage-elevator’s pit

A massive structure believed to be an elevator shaft is believed to have been installed in the garage-elevator as of 12/10/2018. (Credit: Pauline Acalin)

Images taken near the end of November showed a massive structure being set up by The Boring Company beside the pit where it extracted the segments of Godot, its first tunnel boring machine. While the Boring Company did not identify or confirm the purpose of the structure, its size and height suggested that it was a shaft for the underground elevator being built on the site, where vehicles will be lifted out from the test tunnel.

Considering that the elevator shaft was nowhere to be seen as of Monday, it appears safe to assume that the structure has already been installed in the elevator itself. This bodes well for the project, as the structure is a key component to the Boring Company’s plans in the area. The garage-elevator, after all, is a bit different from the tunneling startup’s other projects, such the Hawthorne tunnel or the Dugout Loop, in the way that it would not be opened to the public even when it gets completed. 

Instead, the structure would be used strictly for testing purposes only, with vehicles being moved from the test tunnel into the elevator, before being lifted onto the street. In a statement to Mercury News last September, Boring Company representative Jane Labanowski described the garage-elevator as an “important part of the longer-term vision the company is trying to build.” If the garage-elevator works as intended, it is not difficult to imagine The Boring Company rolling out the concept to its future stations, particularly those located near or even within residential areas. 

Work continues on the site of The Boring Company’s garage-elevator concept. (Credit: Pauline Acalin)

Similar to The Boring Company’s other projects, the vehicles that would be transported from the SpaceX headquarters to the elevator will be traveling through the startup’s electric skates. These skates use Hyperloop technology, and are expected to facilitate high-speed transportation from the tunnels to the garage-elevator.

The Boring Company initially announced that it would hold an opening party for its Hawthorne test tunnel on December 10, with test rides in the system being offered to the public for free the following day. In a recent announcement, though, Elon Musk stated that the test tunnel’s opening event is being moved to December 18 instead. Musk did not give a specific reason behind the delay, though considering the work still being done on some Boring Company projects like the Prairie Avenue elevator, there is a good chance that the tunneling startup is opting to refine some of its projects further before unveiling them to the public. 

The Boring Company’s garage-elevator site takes shape ahead of Dec 18 tunnel opening
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