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Elon Musk Plans to Dig a Tunnel Under Los Angeles to Ease Traffic

Tesla’s CEO wants to reduce the congestion in LA, but doesn’t have permission yet.

Los Angeles is infamous for having immense amounts of traffic congestion. Tesla and SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk is hoping to change that. He’s planning to dig a tunnel under the city to divert some of the traffic, and his plan is to start digging soon. In a recent tweet, he announced: “Exciting progress on the tunnel front. Plan to start digging in a month or so.” The only problem is that he doesn’t have permission yet.

His tunnel project first came to light in December, and it wasn’t clear at first whether he was serious or simply joking. “Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging,” he said on Twitter. Then he added, “It shall be called The Boring Company. Boring, it’s what we do.”

He announced that he would begin digging the tunnel near SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Los Angeles County, a short distance from LAX airport. He has reportedly been considering the risk of earthquakes, but beyond that, hasn’t said much. Responding to a Twitter user about the impact of quakes, he said: “Earthquakes tend to have the biggest effect on the surface, like waves on water. That’s why LA can have a (lame, but getting better) subway.”

Elon Musk is basically a less arrogant Tony Stark

Neither the Los Angeles department of city planning nor the bureau of engineering have been made aware of any permit applications by Musk, and a spokesperson said that building under public land would indeed require a permit. A California department of transportation spokesperson said there was no permit application for “any such work submitted, nor was there any conceptual meeting by any potential permit applicant for such a proposal within Los Angeles and Ventura Counties (District 7).”

Beyond getting permission, Musk would be entering a complicated and costly venture if he did indeed plan on building a tunnel. It is also not clear that providing more roadways actually reduces traffic. In the short term, it may have an effect, but once the public catches on, it may encourage more people to drive, and thus cause more congestion. Then again, maybe he’s just digging a secret tunnel for himself.

source: The Guardian

David F.
A grad student in experimental physics, David is fascinated by science, space and technology. When not buried in lecture books, he enjoys movies, gaming and mountainbiking

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