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Boring Company Tunnel Project Abandoned

Friday, November 30, 2018

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A lawsuit filed back in May has resulted in billionaire Elon Musk’s Boring Company dropping plans for a tunnel running beneath Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles. The company will now focus instead on an underground link between Dodger Stadium and a Metro station.

According to The Los Angeles Times, this marks the first significant setback for Musk’s plans for alleviating the city’s traffic via an underground network of tunnels.

May Lawsuit

The Brentwood Residents Coalition and the Sunset Coalition, both Westside organizations, alleged in the lawsuit in May that the local government violated state law in exempting the 2.7-mile-long tunnel from environmental review, which falls under the California Environmental Quality Act.

According to Musk’s design, announced in May 2017, tunnels would transport cars on an electric skate, and that there would even be room for a Hyperloop—a reduced pressure tube that could shoot pod-like vehicles faster than an airliner. Individual cars would be lowered from regular roads to tunnels by parking on what Musk calls a “car skate,” which essentially functions like an elevator and lowers the car into the tunnel. From there, the skate’s speed could exceed 130 miles per hour.

The Boring Company

A lawsuit filed back in May has resulted in billionaire Elon Musk’s Boring Company dropping plans for a tunnel running beneath Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles. The company will now focus instead on an underground link between Dodger Stadium and a Metro station.

The core of the organizations’ argument is in the allegation that the proof-of-concept tunnel is part of a larger system that will eventually be used for public transportation. According to the lawsuit, state law prevents agencies from giving “piecemeal” approval for one element of a larger construction project.

In April, Los Angeles City Council’s public works committee agreed to exempt the tunnel from environmental analysis. Traditionally, environmental review can add months or years to a project’s timeline.

The lawsuit also challenged a March decision by a city commission to allow the hauling of 80,000 cubic yards of dirt from the Westside tunnel, which was also determined to be exempt from environmental review. The dirt was to be used in producing bricks for housing.

Tunnel Plans Abandoned

In a joint statement made earlier this week, The Boring Company and the Westside advocates said that the lawsuit had been settled amicably. An attorney representing the groups noted that the settlement agreement was confidential.  

"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 company told NBC News. That project is called the Dugout Loop High Speed Transportation Project, which would carry fans from nearby subway lines to the ballpark, via autonomous all-electric modified Tesla Model X platforms.

   

Tagged categories: Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Tunnel

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