Elon Musk’s Boring Co. Nears Deal to Build Tunnel in Florida
The project would transport Tesla-riding passengers about 2.5 miles to the Fort Lauderdale beach from downtown.
(Bloomberg) -- A deadline for other companies to submit proposals to compete with a proposed Boring Co. project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, passed on Monday, leaving Elon Musk’s tunneling business in position to start exclusive negotiations with city officials.
Fort Lauderdale’s city manager and attorney will now seek the approval of commissioners to negotiate a comprehensive or interim agreement with Boring Co., city spokeswoman Ashley Doussard said.
“Along with negotiating an agreement with Boring, there will be a significant amount of technical and engineering and regulatory work that will need to be done,” she said. “Speculating on a timeline would not be possible at this point.”
The proposed tunnel — actually a pair of tunnels, one for each direction — would extend from downtown to the beach, a distance of about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) each way. Passengers would get rides in dedicated Teslas, as they do in existing Boring Co. tunnels in Las Vegas. Once automated-driving technology advances enough to handle it, the cars will be driverless, officials from Las Vegas and Boring Co. have said.
A representative for the tunneling company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
“This represents an innovative and unprecedented approach to addressing traffic congestion and transit needs,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said in a tweet in June.
Dubbed Las Olas Loop, the project would help beachgoers avoid severely clogged roads above ground. The loop would represent Boring Co.’s first commercial undertaking outside of Nevada and poses significant challenges that would be new for its engineers, such as tunneling under water.
Two other groups submitted proposals, Doussard said, but an initial review determined they didn’t meet requirements of Florida’s laws on public-private partnerships.
In early July, city commissioners voted 4-1 to accept the Boring Co.’s initial proposal for the project. The plan is exempt from public disclosure until the commission makes a decision on whether to move forward with it.
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