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Boring Company Tunneling Toward LA Stadium

Monday, December 17, 2018

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Earlier this month, billionaire Elon Musk’s The Boring Company announced that it would be abandoning plans for a test tunnel under the west side of Los Angeles, instead switching focus to a similar endeavor that will connect to Dodger Stadium.

The decision to abandon plans for the 2.7-mile-long test tunnel arrives on the heels of reaching a settlement with the Brentwood Residents Coalition and the Sunset Coalition. The May lawsuit alleged that the local government violated state law in exempting the tunnel from environmental review, which falls under the California Environmental Quality Act.

May Lawsuit

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 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.

The Boring Company

Earlier this month, billionaire Elon Musk’s The Boring Company announced that it would be abandoning plans for a test tunnel under the west side of Los Angeles, instead switching focus to a similar endeavor that will connect to Dodger Stadium.

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.

In a joint statement made late last month, 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.

Shifting Focus

Late last month, Musk announced that the west side Los Angeles test tunnel was no longer necessary. The Boring Company will now shift focus to what is known as the Dugout Loop, an high-speed transit tunnel that will connect between Dodger Stadium and one of three existing subway stations along Los Angeles' Metro Red Line.  An initial public scoping was held for the project in August.

The Dodger Stadium tunnel will be limited at first to 1,400 passengers per event, roughly 2.5 percent of the ballpark’s actual capacity.

   

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

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