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Elon Musk’s Boring Company abandons plan for tunnel below Westside

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A lawsuit challenged LA’s proposal to expedite the project

Car on sled
A rendering of one of the Boring Company’s tunnels.
The Boring Company

Elon Musk’s Boring Company is burying plans to build a tunnel below the Westside of Los Angeles.

According to a joint statement from the company and a group of community activists who sued over the project earlier this year, the matter has been “amicably settled” and the Boring Company will not construct the tunnel after all.

Last year, the startup proposed to construct an elaborate transportation network throughout the city called the “Loop” system. A “proof of concept” tunnel beneath Sepulveda Boulevard would have been used to demonstrate the transit system.

Los Angeles officials were so enthusiastic about the idea that a City Council committee recommended speeding up the project by exempting it from environmental review required under state law.

But a coalition of Westside residents and community groups filed a lawsuit in May, arguing, among other things, that the footprint of the project would be too large to qualify for such an exemption and that the dozens of hauling trucks required to carry dirt from the drill site would be disruptive to the surrounding community.

According to the joint statement issued Tuesday, the Boring Company will focus instead on constructing a tunnel to Dodger Stadium that the company announced in August. The environmental review process for that project, which would connect the stadium to one of Metro’s Red Line stations via a 3.5-mile tunnel, kicked off earlier this year with a public meeting at the ballpark.

Musk first revealed plans to break into the tunneling business in a series of tweets in late 2016. Since then, the tech magnate has fleshed out plans for a subway-like transportation system that would zip cars and small shuttles through underground tubes at high speeds.

A separate test tunnel below the city of Hawthorne is almost complete, and Musk announced last month that the tunnel would open in December with “free rides for the public.”