Urban Transport

The Boring Company finishes tunnel beneath Las Vegas Convention Center

The Boring Company finishes tu...
The Boring Company breaks through in Las Vegas
The Boring Company breaks through in Las Vegas
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The Boring Company breaks through in Las Vegas
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The Boring Company breaks through in Las Vegas
The Boring Company has now completed the excavation phase of its forward-thinking tunnel in Las Vegas, with public rides slated to kick off early next year
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The Boring Company has now completed the excavation phase of its forward-thinking tunnel in Las Vegas, with public rides slated to kick off early next year

The Las Vegas Convention Center is undergoing a major overhaul, and one of the most innovative features of the new-look facility will be the high-speed transport system that will circle beneath the surface. The Boring Company has now completed the excavation phase of this forward-thinking tunnel, with public rides slated to kick off early next year.

Since CEO Elon Musk first raised the idea of a new venture to solve traffic woes at ground level a few years ago, The Boring Company has made some impressive progress on this vision of subterranean travel. It first completed a test tunnel in LA to demonstrate how Teslas can shuttle passengers from one point to another free of stop lights and bottlenecks. It then earned a contract from the Las Vegas' tourism authority to construct a transport system for the city’s convention center.

While tunnels are of course nothing new, The Boring Company hopes to improve on current methods in a few ways, primarily by building them far more cheaply and efficiently. One of the key ways it hopes to achieve this is by making its tunnels around half the width of standard tunnels, while automating the machines and upgrading cooling systems are also integral to its strategy.

The US$52.5 million contract with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority was awarded last March, with The Boring Company promptly putting its tunneling machines to work beneath the center. The facility is being expanded to cover 200 acres in time for CES 2021, and to help visitors cover the two-mile (3.2 km) trip from end to end, The Boring Company has carved out the key structure for an innovative, all-electric people mover.

The Boring Company has now completed the excavation phase of its forward-thinking tunnel in Las Vegas, with public rides slated to kick off early next year
The Boring Company has now completed the excavation phase of its forward-thinking tunnel in Las Vegas, with public rides slated to kick off early next year

Last week it broke through the second of two one-way tunnels, finishing the excavation stage on what is known as the Convention Center Loop. This will involve three stations through which passengers can board and disembark Teslas for free, which will travel along tracks to complete the end-to-end journey in under two minutes.

A look inside The Boring Company's test tunnel
A look inside The Boring Company's test tunnel

“This milestone not only helps usher in the future of transportation in Las Vegas, but it signals the destination’s ability to push through during trying times and continue to meet the evolving needs of our visitors,” said Steve Hill, LVCVA CEO and president. “Las Vegas continues to break through boundaries, and we look forward to offering this first-of-its-kind transportation solution to our convention attendees.”

The Convention Center Loop is set to debut to the public in January 2021.

Source: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

8 comments
ChairmanLMAO
Seems like such smartness. I have trouble seeing Musk as evil as people are trying to make him out to be. With one way tunnels it seems a no brainer to make airflow work for energy saving. Go with the flow.
buzzclick
Never been to Vegas, but now I know that for such a large city, there's no subway. It does have a monorail system with 7 stations, and now it'll have a subterranean 2 mile loop to excite the visitors. Build it and they will come...in droves. The rails the cars ride on look a little crude in photo number three. Musk seems to understand that controversy can work in your favor.
paul314
So basically a subway shuttle, only with much more limited capacity?
Kpar
I wonder if Musk has acheived his stated goal of "moving at a snail's pace"? He has posited that if he could get the speed of boring up to that of a snail, tunneling would become profitable. And the "crude rails" mentioned? The photo shows a test tunnel.
foxpup
All this tunneling is cool, but we could be in for an interesting economic/cultural shift if tunneling ends up cheaper by the square foot than any other kind of construction. We could all turn into prairie dogs, living in holes and tunnels and digging paths to everywhere. :-)
Adrian Akau
".making its tunnels around half the width of standard tunnels" Good. Volume of a tunnel is (pi)(r^2)h so by cutting the r in half, the volume extracted is 1/4 the amount which means that if two tunnels are dug,(one way traffic for each), then only 1/2 the volume needs to be extracted..
Bill S.
I live here in Las Vegas and anything that can help with the traffic, which is unbearable, will be of help. Elon Musk is a great visionary. California has treated him horribly and he is planning on relocating his business to either Texas or Nevada. He is welcomed.
Gannet
but is it faster / cheaper? No mention of that here.