Outlook cloudy for Elon Musk’s O’Hare tunnel in a post-Emanuel city

The Boring Company might not be able to finalize a contract with the city before a new mayor who’s less friendly to the project takes over
February 10, 2019 10:30AM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Elon Musk (Credit: Getty)

Chicago’s mayoral candidates are skeptical at best and hostile at worst to Elon Musk’s proposal to build a 17-mile underground express route between the Loop and O’Hare Airport, putting the future of the controversial project in doubt.

Eight months after Musk stood beside Mayor Rahm Emanuel to announce that his Boring Company would spend $1 billion of its own money complete the tunnel, it remains uncertain whether the company can finalize a contract with the city by the time Emanuel leaves office in May.

During a recent forum, leading mayoral candidates including Toni Preckwinkle, Gery Chico, Paul Vallas and Amara Enyia all said they would either pause the approval process for the project or kill it outright.

Musk in June set an ambitious timeline for the tunnel, predicting his company could begin digging within months and see trains running within two years of groundbreaking.

Several Chicago aldermen went on a test ride in December in the Boring Company’s Hawthorne test tunnel in Los Angeles, which one council member said was “a little bumpy” and left him with “a lot of questions” over how such a tunnel would work in Chicago. [Chicago Tribune] — Alex Nitkin