The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority held a vote today, where it approved a $48.6 million contract with the Boring Company, Elon Musk’s tunneling venture. The Boring Company’s underground “people mover,” the LVCC Loop, will consist of two tunnels for vehicles and three stations, as well as a pedestrian tunnel.
The project is expected to be complete in time to be used at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2021, LVCVA told me in March. Then, Musk got on Twitter and suggested the project could be running by the end of the year. The public contract suggests that tests will start by November 2020. Regardless of the completion date, two-thirds of the money in the contract won’t be paid until the project is complete.
Of the various projects the company has taken on, the Las Vegas tunnel seems likely to be the first finished. A $1 billion bid for a Chicago tunnel to O’Hare airport hit a speed bump when Chicago elected a new mayor, Lori Lightfoot, who doesn’t seem very excited about the project. There have also been public meetings about a proposed “Dugout Loop” in Los Angeles, a two-mile tunnel to Dodger Stadium last year. There’s also a proposed tunnel from Washington D.C. to Baltimore, which is undergoing environmental assessment.
So far, The Boring Company has completed one 1.14-mile tunnel in Hawthorne, California. Musk said at the time that the tunnel cost $10 million and took a year and a half to complete. It is not yet clear what kind of vehicle will be used in the Las Vegas tunnel, though LVCVA’s president, Steve Hill, said in March that Model Xs, Model 3s, or modified electric vehicles with a 16-person tram body are all under consideration.
Correction: A previous version of this post misstated the amount of money the contract was worth in the headline. It is $48.6 million, not $48.6 billion.