Home / Business / Can Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel in Las Vegas respond to nation's infrastructure problems?

Can Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel in Las Vegas respond to nation's infrastructure problems?

LAS VEGAS – Boring Company founder Elon Musk and his vision of creating high-speed transit tunnels to help solve the country's high infrastructure cost for a fraction of the price can finally be realized in the desert.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority voted earlier this week to proceed with contract negotiations with Musk's Boring Co. to build a tunnel transport system that connects the approximately two-mile-long congress center.

"What if we could create something like the rest of the industry – in China, in Denver, in Atlanta – said" God I wish we had, I wish we would "," Chuck Bowling, who serves on LVCVA's Board, as well as the president of Mandalay Bay, said during a committee meeting Tuesday whether it would continue talks with The Boring Company.

  The Las Vegas Convention Center and Visitors Authority voted Tuesday morning to move forward with contracting with Boring Co. to build a tunnel transport system.

The Las Vegas Convention Center and Visitors Authority voted Tuesday morning to proceed with contract negotiations with Boring Co. to construct a tunnel transport system.
(Ben Brown / Fox News)

While a majority of the board members were happy about the prospect of being a test site for innovation, the idea was not without skepticism – including from Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman.

"The Boring Company has no documented success or record of achievement. It is exploring right now, and we are considering handing over the seals in our main industry," said Goodman, who also serves on the LVCVA board. "I would like to have more information about the entire project for LVCVA's inclusive board."


Although there are several other proposals / projects in the works in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington DC and Maryland, Boring Co. not yet built more than a two mile test tunnel in Hawthorne, California.

Russell Holly, chief editor of Mobile Nations, notes that the Tesla founder has a "great story of over-achieving" but said if Boring Company can follow through in Las Vegas, it can be "a big deal for the company and lead to many others contract". [19659003] "Tesla raises the prices of all their cars and the fabulous $ 35,000 model will not really happen," Holly says, referring to the car company that announced that it raised the price of most of its vehicles by 3 percent. "So, there is a lot, you know, overpricing in Tesla. I see no reason to believe that Boring Company will be different, especially since it is non-existent. So, it's hard to say seriously."


What sets Musk away from other companies is not the tunnel itself, but the extremely low cost he claims to be able to build up – another concern mentioned during Tuesday's LVCVA committee's hearing.

  Autonomous electric vehicle (AEV) that runs between the exhibition hall.

Autonomous electric vehicles (AEV) with high occupancy that run between exhibition rooms.
(The Boring Company)

Boring Co.'s $ 35 million to $ 55 million proposal for the Las Vegas Convention Center would include Tesla vehicles operated despite express tunnels linking the congress center's largest halls with the ability to transport roughly 11,000 passengers per hour.

"Our purpose with our company is not to say we invented tunneling, it would be ridiculous – it is that we can do it faster and we can make it much cheaper and we" are willing to put our money where our mouths is by making all company-based pricing and performance-based contracts, says Steve Davis, Boring Co-President, on Tuesday's committee meeting.

To put it in perspective, the San Francisco Central Subway costs $ 920 million per mile while the Seattle U-Link came in at $ 600 million per mile on the cheaper end, according to data compiled by author and transport researcher Alon Levy for CityLab in January.

  Map of potential barrels of electricity expansion that would connect the Las Vegas strip.

Map of potential tunnel extension that would connect the Las Vegas strip.
[The Boring Company]

The extension of the 2015 subway in New York City on the Manhattan East Side costs $ 2.5 billion per mile, while the addition to number 7 costs $ 1.5 billion, the New York Times pointed out. 19659003] If Las Vegas becomes Boring Company's first success story, it can help solve the nation's infrastructure problems and close about a trillion dollars gap "between what we are currently spending on infrastructure across the country and what we need to spend," Michele Nellenbach, director of strategic initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Fox News said.

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"We really are not without need and we need some innovative solutions which will hopefully bring down some of the costs – which for me was one of the exciting things about what Musk has suggested is that if the boring technique works as he anticipates, it will really be able to lower the cost of doing any of this underground " , she said.

President Donald Trump's 2020 budget plan requires at least $ 1 trillion in infrastructure spending.

As for Las Vegas, Tina Quigley, head of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, said low cost for what Musk suggests is definitely thrilling as the city "escapes".


"We have a geometric problem in some corridors where we just can't" fit into more personal private vehicles without eventually getting significant congestion, says Quigley and adds "there is no way to disconnect technology and transit and transport forward. They are interconnected and they should be because there is much opportunity to get more unless they need space or something."

About everything goes according to plan, LVCVA president Steve Hill expects the tunnel to be completed in time for the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show and believes that the latter can be extended to connect the Vegas strip.

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