The Boring Company’s Las Vegas transport tunnel meets skepticism from monorail officials


The Boring Company’s Las Vegas tunnel project is no stranger to the fight, and it appears that trend continues even after the company has won its current contract with the city. Las Vegas monorail officials recently expressed concerns about technical safety in areas where the two systems will intersect underground and have pushed for increased surveillance of the company led by Elon Musk. Despite Boring’s objections, the Winchester Town board that oversees the new tunnel project has agreed to demand regular coordination between The Boring Company, monorail officials and the Las Vegas Department of Public Works.

“The proposed underground passenger transportation system intersects our existing system route, and it appears that the presented tunnel alignment interferes with our existing columns for the Las Vegas monorail system and creates a significant concern regarding vertical and lateral loads.” Curtis Myles, CEO of Las Vegas Monorail, said in a letter to Clark County planning officials in June.

“When you have columns this close, you are not only concerned with contact with the columns, you are also concerned with vibration,” said one. the lawyer representing the Monorail specified later. “The file must be absolutely clear, if there is any damage to the columns, it will shut down the monorail. “

The Las Vegas monorail. | Picture: David Shane Going through CC BY 2.0. No changes were made.
The Boring Company’s Las Vegas tunnel station concept. | Image: The Boring Company

Jane Labanowski, head of government relations for The Boring Company, objected to Myles’ concerns. “Noise and vibrations [from tunneling] are imperceptible on the surface. We design our process to be deep enough underground for a person to walk [on the surface] creates more vibrations than our underground tunnel boring machine.

The chairman of Winchester City Council cited precautionary reasons for the new coordination requirements. “That way we all have a point of reference to come back to, just in case someone forgets or doesn’t check in with other people… All of a sudden someone becomes a bad actor who doesn’t want to. not be, “the chairman reportedly said at the board meeting where the recent decision was made. With construction plans finally approved, The Boring Company must now obtain permits to begin digging.

Members of the board of directors of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LCVA) approved a $ 48.6 million contract with The Boring Company in May this year to build a transport tunnel under campus of LCVA. The project will include a pedestrian tunnel and two vehicle tunnels connecting the new campus exhibition hall to the existing north / central hall. Construction is expected to be completed in time for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2021 and, according to a contractor overseeing the drilling project, public access will be limited to the tunnels during the CES event. “During CES it will be a little more difficult to get the audience in and out than it would be for a [smaller] trade show ”, the the entrepreneur said at the board meeting.

To transport passengers through the Las Vegas tunnel, The Boring Company plans to use modified Tesla Model X and Model 3 vehicles that will carry up to 16 passengers each with seating and standing. The cars will operate autonomously, although a human driver will also be present as a safety measure. Boring has estimated that the system will be able to carry up to 4,400 passengers per hour.

This latest regulatory hurdle is just the latest that The Boring Company has encountered in pursuing the Las Vegas tunnel project. Earlier this year, LCVA board members Michele Fiore and Carolyn Goodman objected to the Boring company’s project proposal, citing the startup’s inexperience and suggesting that the Austrian group’s proposal Doppelmayr Garaventa should instead be adopted. Doppelmayr’s proposal involved an above-ground mass transit system that would cost around $ 215 million to complete.

The Boring Company’s Las Vegas transport tunnel meets skepticism from monorail officials


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