Elon Musk celebrated “breaking on through” to daylight as his Hawthorne-based Boring Co. reached the end of the company first underground transportation tunnel.
Musk shared with his 23.1 million Twitter followers a video that declared that the company’s mammoth digging machine has completed the Hawthorne-Los Angeles tunnel late Friday.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 17, 2018
The tunnel runs for about a mile below 120th Street between Crenshaw Boulevard and Prairie Avenue adjacent to SpaceX and Boring Co. headquarters in Hawthorne. Originally, the company earned approval to bore a tunnel slightly more than two miles long, but in September company representatives told the Hawthorne City Council it had reconsidered the length of the tunnel, deciding to keep it to one mile.
An official opening ceremony is planned for Dec. 10.
Musk is also the high-profile founder of SpaceX and Tesla.
The billionaire entrepreneur launched the Boring Co. concept while stuck in Southern California gridlock. On social media, he vowed to deliver a solution to Los Angeles County’s “soul-crushing” traffic.
Boring Co. officials chose to reduce the tunnel length when engineers identified an opportunity to remove the expensive cutting head by extracting it from a property the company recently purchased near the corner of 120th Street and Prairie Avenue.
Boring Company just broke through the other side!! https://t.co/4yxQgpPVfZ
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 17, 2018
At the same meeting Sept. 11, the city granted approval for the company to bore a tunnel spur that would connect through the garage of a residential home on 119th Street in Hawthorne for a demonstration project. At that time, the City Council made clear that it would not permit cars to enter the tunnel at the home from the street. The spur would only be used to bring cars up to the garage and back down as a proof of concept.
A video simulation released by the company last year showed how the tunnel would ferry up to 16 people in pods that travel up to 155 mph. Another option presented by the company involves driving a passenger car onto a platform known as a skate, which would rise by elevator to street level and then descend with the car on board into the tunnel.
In April, the Los Angeles City Council’s public works committee unanimously approved an environmental review exemption for a Boring Co. tunnel that could run 2.7 miles through West Los Angeles parallel to Sepulveda Boulevard between Pico and Washington boulevards.
The company was also selected to build tunnels in Chicago and Washington D.C., and it has floated the idea of a possible 3.6-mile route connecting downtown Los Angeles to Dodger’s Stadium.
While Musk is responsible for putting the hyperloop concept into motion with his 2013 white paper, other companies have advanced the concept much further. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies based in Culver City is developing projects with tunnels that run above ground to connect Chicago with Cleveland as well as additional projects in China, India and France. In addition, Richard Branson’s Hyperloop One has plans to connect Los Angeles with Las Vegas as well as proposed projects in India, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland, Moscow and the U.K.
In July, SpaceX hosted its third hyperloop pod competition, which called on teams of university students from around the world to design vehicles that could travel the fastest through a near-vacuum within a one-mile test tube on the company’s property. During an appearance at the event Musk said he planned to hold next year’s competition within the new tunnel that will be completed Dec. 10.
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