The Boring Company’s first tunnel is all dug up

On Friday night, Boring Company CEO Elon Musk tweeted images of his tunnel-boring machine appearing to emerge from the dirt into a cavernous hole, with bystanders at the hole’s edge watching the spinning boring head.

Congratulations @BoringCompany on completing the LA/Hawthorne tunnel! Cutting edge technology! pic.twitter.com/80WbSQekCQ

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 17, 2018

The tunnel began in January 2017 in the parking lot of SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Musk’s goal has been to improve the speed and cost of tunnel boring, not only to alleviate surface-street traffic by lowering cars onto electric skates and then speeding them through a so-called “loop” system, but also to potentially dig sewer, water, and electrical tunnels for cities in a more cost-effective manner.

In late October, Musk tweeted that the more-than-two-mile-long Hawthorne tunnel would be completed by December 10, and The Boring Company would celebrate by giving rides to the public.

pic.twitter.com/TQhb9hQRxQ

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 17, 2018

The tunnel appears to end at what The Boring Company calls “O’Leary Station,” which some outlets have reported is located on a piece of residential property that The Boring Company purchased in Hawthorne for about $500,000. Some outlets have reported that this location is the same as the 120th St. location for which The Boring Company recently received approval to build a tunnel entrance within a residential garage.

O’Leary Station taking shape pic.twitter.com/O25AhFBnxA

— The Boring Company (@boringcompany) October 19, 2018

The tunnel entrance shown by Musk and The Boring Company looks larger than a residential garage entrance, however, and Ars Technica has reached out to The Boring Company for clarification. Apparently, “O’Leary Station” references The Boring Company’s principle engineer for tunnel design.

The Hawthorne tunnel is just a test tunnel for The Boring Company, which also plans to complete a second, 3.6-mile, one-way tunnel from Los Angeles Metro to Dodger Stadium. Eventually, the company wants to dig a tunnel in Chicago between O’Hare International Airport and the city’s downtown.

The Boring Company has had broad support from LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to complete its tunneling project, although some have charged that the city’s leadership allowed the Hawthorne project to move forward faster than it would have in a more affluent neighborhood.

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