Elon Musk Might Really Get to Build a Tunnel Below Los Angeles

A Los Angeles city councilmember even wants to throw in a CEQA exemption for good measure.

Read Time: 2 minutes

April 18, 2018, 2:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

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Bart Everett / Shutterstock

The city of Los Angeles is letting Elon Musk proceed with a controversial proposal to drill a "proof of concept" tunnel for 2.7 miles across the Westside of Los Angeles and ending in Culver City.

"Last month the Los Angeles Board of Building and Safety Commissioners signed off on a proof of concept tunnel for The Boring Company, a venture which Musk founded in 2016," report Steven Sharp. "Though the company hopes to eventually operate a sprawling system which connects to Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Downtown Los Angeles, Inglewood, Long Beach, and the Beach Cities, the proposed initial segment will run just 2.7 miles down Sepulveda Boulevard."

While that action alone might seem awfully permissive for the city, there's another level to the easy route to construction being offered to the Boring Company. "City Councilmember Paul Koretz has introduced a motion which calls for the full Council to determine that the proof of concept tunnel is exempt from CEQA, and instructs the Bureau of Engineering to work towards issuing permits for the project," adds Sharp.

That move has prompted renewed attention to the project from Streetsblog LA editor Joe Linton, who notes some of the additional risks to future subway projects the Boring Company could introduce. UCLA Urban Planning Lecturer Juan Matute is cited in the article raising concerns that the tunnel concept is not worthy of CEQA exemption.

Thursday, April 12, 2018 in Urbanize LA

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