Elon Musk’s tunnel-drilling company Boring Co. has entered the final phase of excavation of the transportation tunnels in Nevada.
A drill called Godot Plus broke through a wall near the spot where it will connect to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The project includes two main transportation tunnels that will serve as the core of a transit system connecting the eastern edge of the convention complex’s South Hall to the western edge of a new building—a route of just short of a mile. An intermediate stop will serve the central and north exhibit halls. Boring Co. has also been tapped to build a pedestrian tunnel between the South Hall and a nearby parking lot where it will locate a station.
For those not familiar, Loop is a high-speed underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported via compatible AEVs. The Boeing Co. currently uses Tesla Model Xs, modified with alignment wheels and, for certain projects, an extended chassis to accommodate up to 16 passengers.
From a construction standpoint, Boring Co. seems to be in the schedule, meaning that the planned transportation network will possiblye open to the public on time, by January. The company is now ready to collect its next portion of a total $48.7 million in payment from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Boring Co.’s system was not designed with the health threat like the coronavirus in mind. However, the Loop’s features will allow visitors to feel more secure using it, since it allows passengers to ride solo, or with pre-selected groups. At first the modified Teslas used as vehicles will require drivers, but eventually they’ll run autonomously, allowing for greater social distancing.
The next target for the Las Vegas project is to complete internal tunnel infrastructure so that vehicles can run a complete cycle underground. After that, Boring will have to run tests and hit capacity targets.
So far, including the payment resulting from today’s milestone, Boring has earned about $15 million from the project.