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Elon Musk takes 1st steps to build futuristic underground tunnel in LA

Twitter/Elon Musk
Twitter/Elon Musk

(LOS ANGELES) — Elon Musk has filed a permit to dig a tunnel within Los Angeles city limits that would alleviate the standstill traffic the City of Angels is famous for.

Last week, The Boring Company, the firm Musk created to build the tunnel, filed an application with city officials to start digging within city limits, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Musk tweeted a photo of the first stage of the project near his office in Hawthorne, in southwestern Los Angeles County near Los Angeles International Airport, on Oct. 28.

The initial proposed route would stretch along Interstate 405 from Hawthorne to Westwood, and the project will be funded entirely by private money, a spokesperson for The Boring Co. said Tuesday, according to the Times. Last month, Musk expressed hopes that the tunnel would stretch the “whole 405” corridor from LAX to Interstate 101 in “a year or so.”

The tunnel would also allow travel from Westwood to LAX in just six minutes, Musk claimed at a TED Conference in April, calling traffic “one of the most soul-destroying things.”

“It affects people in every part of the world. It takes away so much of your life,” Musk said. “It’s horrible. It’s particularly horrible in LA.”

The company decided that tunnels were the optimal solution to L.A.’s traffic problem because “there is no practical limit to how many lawyers of tunnels can be built,” according to its website. In addition, the tunnels will be weatherproof, they won’t “divide communities with lanes and barriers,” and their construction will be “silent and invisible to anyone on the surface.”

Stations will be placed along the route, where the electric skates, each an “autonomous vehicle,” will take “express” trips through a main tunnel, according to the website. Side tunnels will be connected to the main tunnel for entry and exit, so passengers can “travel directly to their final destination without stopping.”

“Therefore, unlike trains, the skate’s average speed is very close to its maximum speed,” the website states. “And with no intermediate stopping, there is no practical upper limit to the number of stations along the alignment, and the stations can be built as small as a single parking space.”

The Boring Company released a video in April that showed a car being lowered to the tunnel by a platform at street level. The platform, or “skate,” then takes the car through the tunnel at a high speed.

Each skate will be able to carry either a single automobile or eight to 16 passengers, according to The Boring Company.

Musk founded The Boring Company after complaining for years about the traffic he faced during his commute from his home in Bel-Air to his office in Hawthorne, the Times reported.

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