Billionaire Elon Musk plans to tunnel under Los Angeles

by Caroline Favret ’18

Tesla founder Elon Musk hopes to alleviate a problem affecting people in cities around the world.  Traffic headaches are a persisting issue, particularly in Los Angeles where he lives and works.

In a tweet on December 17, Musk said, “Traffic is driving me nuts.  Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just started digging… I am actually going to do this.”

Within a few hours of his successive traffic related tweets, he had created “The Boring Company” for his project, appointing a leader but no staff yet.

At the end of January, he lived up to his tweets and started boring.  SpaceX, a company that designs and manufactures spacecraft and is also run by Musk, is the site of the “test trench”. Right now, the trench is 15 feet deep and over 50 feet wide and will potentially be used to transport employees across to the parking lot.  This, however, could be a precursor to a tunnel system underneath the city if time, technology and permits allow.

His take on the traffic situation is that a two-dimensional road network doesn’t work in a three-dimensional city.  So, by extending underground, the road network will also be 3D, similar to how subways function.

UAHS junior Will Nilges is a technology enthusiast and also sees underground tunnels as a viable option in the future.  “Our underground infrastructure needs to be much better.  Europe has lots of underground lines and travel there is incredibly easy.  Why ever take a cab there?,” Nilges said.