The Las Vegas Convention Center will be getting an underground tram system by 2021 if all goes according to plan. It’s being built by The Boring Company, an Elon Musk company. The project just got underway on November 15th and is being described as a “people mover.”
Boring Company Projects
It will be the first major underground tunneling project for Elon Musk. The cost will run around $52.5 million. However, experts believe there could be significant cost overruns. There are a number of problems that construction crews could run into, including:
- Underground gases, water, debris, etc.
- Collapses of shored up walls
- Machinery malfunctions
- Worker accidents
Working underground comes with its own set of problems. But sometimes construction crews are simply not prepared for these.
To begin the project, TBC’s boring machine was assembled on site last month. The tunneling company officials are working with Las Vegas local government on possible modifications. For one thing, Musk would like to construct a convention center loop that connects it with the Las Vegas Strip.
There were about 42 million visitors to Las Vegas in 2018. And the number of visitors is growing. This makes developers believe that the underground tunnel should be as large and versatile as possible. This will accommodate the growing number of visitors.
Underground Tunnels Dangerous
According to Jackie Dennis, the director of communications for LVCVA, once the tunnel gets underway, officials will have a better idea of how the project will go. They’re withholding their enthusiasm until the underground work actually begins. This will give workers and planners an idea of how difficult this will be and whether they can hit the 2021 deadline.
Dennis commented, saying, “This is the next major attraction for Vegas.”
The Boring Company is promising that their machine can dig tunnels faster and cheaper than other methods used in the past. The machine was tested last year when it completed an R&D test tunnel in Hawthorne, California. During that test, they tested sleds that were able to travel 125 mph with no problems. Though the test project cost Musk $10 million, it showed the potential of the Boring Machine.
If the Las Vegas project is successful, Musk and his company plan to build underground tunnels in Chicago. Therefore, they will need to get approval from city, state and local governments.
Eliminating Traffic Jams
As cities grow and more people move into them, transportation will be a number one factor. In California, though there are many highways, the traffic has reached a frantic level. Furthermore, people spend hours a day just waiting in traffic jams. First of all, underground tunnels that could move people quickly would save time, money and eliminate traffic jams. Though these are lofty goals, Elon Musk has always been the type of person who clearly sees the potential.
His automobile line of Teslas has been incredibly successful, though the cars themselves have had their share of problems. In spite of the issues and the huge price tag for a Tesla, they are highly sought and most owners say they love their car.
Likewise, once completed, the new tunnel system will include elevators and escalators. Certainly, this will help passengers can get to where they need to go. The tunnels will also be outfitted with WiFi, video surveillance and vehicular tunnel access at some points.