Elon Musk’s Boring Company, fresh off launching operation of a functioning tunnel loop under the Las Vegas Convention Center, is said to be in talks with the cities of Austin and San Antonio for similar tunnel projects.
KXAN in Austin reports that the company has met with city officials regarding a project that would link up downtown Austin with the Gigafactory Texas plant, currently under construction in the southeastern quadrant of the city, not far from Austin Bergstrom international airport. The news station reports that the company has given the city’s Development Services Department a high-level introduction of the tunnel system, and has inquired about building permits for such a project. The proposed loop, according to KXAN, would travel through the airport on its way to downtown.
Separately, the company has also reported to be in talks with Greater: SATX, which in the past was known as the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. Talks with the group and several other local agencies have been reported to be ongoing for a period of several weeks, the San Antonio Express-News reports, and include the possibility of linking downtown San Antonio with the city’s airport as well.
“Surface roads today incorporate 3D model-like elevated highways and cloverleaf interchanges that are expensive and disruptive to build. Tunneling networks are 3D and provide high-throughput transportation in an economically viable way. Traffic and congestion will be a thing of the past,” The Boring Company promises.
Overall, the reported proposed plans appear to mirror the greater Las Vegas project, which would seek to link up the convention center with the Las Vegas strip, and also with McCarran airport. The current tunnel loop in operation is solely under the city’s convention center, consisting of two tunnels that travel 4,475 feet each, from one end of the convention center to the other. The tunnels, with Teslas inside them, function as an alternative to something like electric scooters that could have been purchased for use on the grounds of the convention center, and don’t quite solve any existing car traffic issues in the area.
The Boring Co. was in the news just weeks ago after Fort Lauderdale city officials indicated that the the city was in talks with the company regarding an underground tunnel system between the downtown area and the beach.
The project quickly drew plenty of skepticism online, just months after reports of a similar plan for Miami, with most of the comments centering on the vast amounts of water that the proposed Las Olas loop would have to cover underground. The major goal of that project was to make travel to the beach easier from points west, adjacent to Interstate 95, bypassing a limited number of east-west routes that travel through residential areas. In that sense, the reasons behind the Fort Lauderdale project were narrower and perhaps more obvious from the standpoint of beach traffic, but were similarly limited by the fact that the tunnels would not permit private cars to enter.
Earlier this year the company was also reported to have pitched a proposal to the city of Miami, inviting skepticism from those said to be familiar with the geology of the area, while the mayor of the city voiced optimism regarding the project.
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