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Elon Musk's boring machine

Elon Musk buries plans to tunnel beneath Westside, Los Angeles

Image credit: Business Insider

According to a joint statement between Musk’s Boring Company and a community activist group, the Boring Company will not be constructing its proposed tunnel system below the Westside neighbourhood of Los Angeles.

In December 2017, the Boring Company - a tunnelling company established by industrialist Elon Musk - proposed building a high-speed subterranean transportation system beneath LA called the “Loop”. The system would be comprised of a network of tunnels filled with pods travelling at 240km/h. Musk claimed that rides on the Loop in a pod containing 15 other people could cost as little as $1 (78p) and that the system would be minimally disruptive to the city due to being contained largely underground.

The project would begin with a 4.3km “proof of concept” tunnel dug beneath Sepulveda Boulevard on the Westside, following the boring of a test tunnel near Musk’s SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA. The Westside tunnel had a planned launch date of December 10, with Musk offering free rides to his first customers.

According to reports, a City Council committee was so enthusiastic about the Loop concept that it recommended that the initial plans for a trial track on the Westside were fast-tracked, supporting a motion from representative Paul Koretz that the plans should not have to undergo environmental analysis according to the stringent California Environmental Quality Act.

In May, an activist coalition – including the Brentwood Residents Coalition – filed a lawsuit in the LS Superior Court, arguing that the Boring Company should not be exempt from environmental analysis, with the project being far too large and disruptive to qualify for this treatment.

Now, a joint statement submitted to NBC confirms that the dispute has been “amicably settled”. “The Boring Company is no longer seeking the development of the Sepulveda test tunnel and instead seeks to construct an operational tunnel at Dodger Stadium,” the statement explained.

In May, the Boring Company announced plans to construct a 5.6km “Dugout Loop” shuttling people between Los Feliz, East Hollywood, or Rampart Village and Dodger (baseball) Stadium. According to the company, these journeys could take four minutes and cost just $1.

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