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CA Authority to Consider Musk Tunnel Project

Thursday, July 2, 2020

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A transportation authority in California has reportedly halted rail system analyses in order to instead evaluate an unsolicited tunnel proposal from Elon Musk for a project involving the Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California.

What’s Going On

The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority agreed in its June board meeting to defer the issuance of a $3 million alternative analysis for a Request for Proposals regarding a rail system. This deference is only for a few months, however, according to a board document.

The SBCTA is in the market for alternatives to a traditional rail project, because that price tag is estimated to be between $1 billion and $1.5 billion and would reportedly take about 10 years to develop and build.

Vmpz85, CC-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A transportation authority in California has reportedly halted rail system analyses in order to instead evaluate an unsolicited tunnel proposal from Elon Musk for a project involving the Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California.

The tunnel option would reportedly cost just 5% of that total and take about five years.

In addition to the construction costs, a rail system would take about $7-9 million to maintain annually, while tunnel maintenance would reportedly cost about 40% of that.

The route in question is a 2.8-mile path between the airport and a possible future Metrolink station for the San Bernardino Line.

SBCTA staff is expecting to report back on its evaluation in September. For comparison, the SBCTA brought up other projects of Musk’s The Boring Company, including its Loop system in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Tunnel Project

In March 2019, The Boring Co. was approved by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority’s board of directors for the construction of an underground express tunnel connecting downtown Las Vegas, the city’s convention center, airport and other points of interest.

By May, a $48.6 million contract with TBC was approved for the construction on the LVCC Loop. Clocking in at a fraction of the $215 million bid for an elevated rail system, more funding was slated to present itself as TBC continued to hit milestones, including: $2.5 million for excavation of the first station and $3.2 million for completing the first 100 feet of tunnel. All system infrastructure will have to be built on payments that total less than $14 million.

In October, construction work on the project officially entered operation, with the first tunnel reaching completion in February of this year, and the second tunnel completed in May.

That project is still slated for completion by January 2021, in time for the annual Consumer Electronics Show.

   

Tagged categories: Airports; Good Technical Practice; Government; Government contracts; NA; North America; Rail; Terminals; Transportation; Tunnel; Upcoming projects

Comment from Kay Melcher, (7/2/2020, 11:56 AM)

No one in their right minds should be dealing with Elon Musk. The man is a lunatic.


Comment from Tony Rangus, (7/6/2020, 11:30 AM)

Ah - The fine line between genius and insanity. But hell, his rockets work great.


Comment from Michael Halliwell, (7/7/2020, 12:06 PM)

He's got some fantastic people doing great things in his companies...but, like Kay, I would have some reservations about working with him directly.


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