In 2013, Elon Musk famously complained about the traffic between his Bel-Air home and his Hawthorne office that is near Los Angeles International Airport. He created a new tunneling company named The Boring Co. as a solution service to bypass the traffic.
The solution is a substitute transport system to take commuters from San Fernando Valley to Westside within minutes via a tunnel parallel to 405 Freeway. On Thursday, the company filed an application to the L.A. officials for approval to start digging through the city limits, according to Mary Nemick, the Spokeswoman for the Bureau of Engineering.
Along with a Spokesman for L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Nemick said they would not release permit documents immediately.
L.A. lawmakers would be facing a bunch of policy questions regarding the tunnel proposal like on environmental review requirements, city support for the privatized transport system, and so on.
A spokesman for The Boring Co. said on Tuesday that the route would “start near Hawthorne and would go along the 405 to Westwood, with a number of stops along the way.” The electric platforms would carry the commuters at a speed of up to 130 mph.
The video below provides an overview of how would Musk’s plan if and when approved and executed.
As the firm stated, even pedestrians and cyclists could be aboard the capsule that would carry 8 to 16 people. Last month, Musk expressed his visualization of entry and exit points, each per mile. The spokesman for the firm said that the tunnel would have a 12-feet diameter, and the entire project would be funded by private money.
Musk said at a Ted Conference in April this year, “One of the most soul-destroying things is traffic. It affects people in every part of the world. It takes away so much of your life. It’s horrible. It’s particularly horrible in L.A.”
He further said at the conference that it would take 6 minutes to travel from Westwood to LAX via the tunnel and that the tunnel would be the inception of creating “a three-dimensional network of tunnels.”
Musk on Twitter said last month that the project could be finished by one year, a record speed in terms of tunneling in dense urban regions.
Advocates raised questions on ‘induced demand’, defined as more space for cars drawing more drivers. This is well known in the widening of 405 Freeway that cost over $1 billion but failed to improve travel times.
The L.A. County voters approved a sales tax increment last fall, and it includes over $5 billion for the Sepulveda Pass tunnel, that is quite similar to Musk’s proposal.
On Tuesday, Councilman Mike Bonin invited the Boring Co. representatives to discuss the proposal with the City Council next year. Additionally, he asked for a report on policy and regulatory questions that needed to be considered. Bonin seemed serious about the proposal and expressed his wish to focus on the works rather than fuelling the public imagination.
Presently, the tunnel’s first stage is constructed in Hawthorne. Back in August, L.A. officials approved the Boring Co.’s request for a tunnel that starts west from Space X headquarters towards LAX, which has grown to 500 feet by October.