The Boring Company recently purchased a parcel of land close to SpaceX Headquarters, on 120th St. near Prairie Avenue. Now, the small residence in an industrial neighborhood could house a private, prototype garage, according to .
Elon Musk’s young tunneling company was granted approval from the Hawthorne City Council today to build a shaft on the property.
Although The Boring Company still needs to provide more detailed plans to the city of Hawthorne before it can start building, the initial plans suggest that the company is looking to test different ways that its tunnels could be accessed (and perhaps paid for).
Other plans of attack
In August, the company proposed a one-way, 3.6 mile tunnel from an LA Metro station to an as-yet-to-be-determined station at Dodger Stadium. The tunnel would exist as a prototype, delivering only 1,400 to 2,800 people one-way to a stadium that holds roughly 56,000
But the Boring prototype, if it comes to fruition, would be an important step stone for the company. It also has approval for a much-bigger, more-important project: a full, two-way express line from Chicago’s O’Hare airport to downtown.
The Boring Company has tried to move quickly amid the morass of regulations that come with tunneling under densely inhabited cities. Part of that strategy has required compromise with state and local officials. notes that, as part of The Boring Company’s approval from Hawthorne today, “the company agreed not to open the test elevator to the public or to have cars move in and out of the garage from the street. Cars would enter the tunnel from the SpaceX campus, move through the tunnel and on to the garage and then back to SpaceX, so the test process would not create additional traffic on the street.”
So, it’s unlikely that anyone will see cars coming in or out of the garage on their way down to the main tunnel. Interestingly, however: The Boring Company says it does plan to rent out the property it purchased.
The company asserts that it can dig tunnels more quickly and efficiently than has been the case in other tunnel projects, in part because of the tunnel design. Vehicles in the tunnel would be transported on electric skates. Without internal combustion engines chugging away, tunnels would be smaller, as ventilation is less of an issue. An autonomous electric skate would also, theoretically at least, reduce accidents and traffic within the tunnel.
On Wednesday, the Hawthorne City Council also approved a short addition to The Boring Company’s existing test tunnel in Hawthorne. This short addition will go from the tunnel to a separate piece of property that the company recently purchased, so the company can extricate its tunneling machine. It’s a common practice in the tunnel-drilling industry to simply leave expensive tunnel cutting heads buried in the ground after the drilling job is done, because it’s cheaper than retrieving them.
writes that The Boring Company says it has notified more than 100 residents of its plans to tunnel, assuring them that noise will be minimal.