Elon Musk’s Boring tunnel company submits plan for underground loop in Miami

Proposal is designed to help address congestion in an ever-growing part of Florida with limited public transportation

Boring was the only company to respond to North Miami Beach’s request for information on how to address the traffic problem to lure high-paying jobs. AFP
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Elon Musk’s Boring Co is seeking to build an underground loop around North Miami Beach for Tesla vehicles, the latest idea to help address congestion in an ever-growing part of Florida with limited public transportation.

A plan submitted to the city of North Miami Beach contemplates seven entrances on the 10-kilometre tunnel. It would cost $185 million to $220m based on current prices, and would take less than 36 months to execute, said the proposal, which came in response to a request from the city.

The plan, dated February 1, was shared by commissioner Michael Joseph.

Mr Musk’s company has held talks with several South Florida governments since early 2021 as the region tries to improve traffic to lure high-paying jobs. Traffic has worsened as public-transportation solutions remained elusive, hampered by politics and logistical challenges, including a relatively shallow water table.

Mr Joseph said Boring was the only company to respond to North Miami Beach’s request for information.

In its proposal, Boring noted that the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could help the project via grant programmes. The government’s scoring methods “would likely score Loop favourably,” the proposal stated, and Boring would be willing to finance “a portion of the project costs to support construction and operation".

Mr Joseph travelled to Las Vegas last year to tour Boring’s operations. But he acknowledged it would take much broader buy-in to get the tunnel built, including from adjacent municipalities, Miami-Dade County and the state and federal governments. He said parts of the project would need to involve the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has also entertained the idea of a Boring tunnel, openly chatting with Musk about it last year on Twitter. He claims Miami’s water table wouldn’t be an obstacle for Musk’s technology.

Mr Joseph said his majority Black and Hispanic community is among those that suffer most, because it receives a lot of the traffic heading into affluent nearby areas. He said residents should focus on the community-wide benefits to traffic calming, even though the tunnel would be for Tesla owners.

Updated: February 19, 2022, 1:20 PM
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