Elon Musk’s Underground Loop Tunnel in Vegas approved

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The City Council of Las Vegas made a unanimous vote to grant Elon Musk’s Boring Company a special use permit that allows the company to extend its Underground Vegas Loop tunnel transportation system into the city. The 4.6-mile anticlockwise circuit will run north under Las Vegas Boulevard to the downtown resort corridor and then south on Main Street. Steve Davis, the Boring Co. President told the council that the project would require “zero public dollars” as it is developed through the city’s tourist areas and instead will be financed by the company and various property owners. He went on to decline inquests on the overall cost, saying that it would depend on how quickly the project proceeds.

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He also said that he could not confirm the commencing date for construction but that it would be after permits and licenses are in place and the council again weighs in on the plan. He also noted that he hopes construction begins soon. The Vegas Underground Loop tunnel project began with a US$52 million tunnel system linking the Las Vegas Convention Center campus, where construction began late last year. The two 0.8-mile-long tunnels are almost done but will remain unused since the convention center is closed due to the current pandemic.

The convention center system will employ self-piloted Teslas traveling in 14-ft-wide tunnels bored 40 ft below grade, with the goal of moving 4,400 people per hour. Extensions of that system have been announced for the Encore and Resorts World hotels, which are near the convention center. The company president said a full system would allow travelers to go from the airport to downtown in seven minutes, a trip that can take close to an hour in the city’s notoriously slow traffic. The downtown section of the project has support from the city’s resort community.