Fort Lauderdale to pay Elon Musk’s company to study tunnel plan for the city

City agreed to pay as much as $375K to The Boring Company to determine the best path and total cost of a so-called Las Olas Loop linking downtown to the beach

Miami /
Jun.June 09, 2022 02:35 PM
The Boring Company's LVCC Loop under the Las Vegas Convention Center (The Boring Company, Getty)

The Boring Company’s LVCC Loop under the Las Vegas Convention Center (The Boring Company, Getty)

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is a step closer to achieving his tunnel vision for Fort Lauderdale.

The city will pay his tunnel business, The Boring Company, to study the cost and feasibility of an underground loop for vehicles shuttling passengers between downtown Fort Lauderdale and the city’s beach. It is known as the Las Olas Loop project, aimed at relieving traffic congestion.

City commissioners voted 3-1 on Tuesday to make up to $375,000 for a due diligence analysis of the loop project proposed by Musk’s company. Commissioner Robert McKinzie cast the sole dissenting vote.
Some residents of Fort Lauderdale who spoke publicly at the commission meeting criticized the proposed vehicular tunnels as traffic choke points if one vehicle becomes disabled, and cited potential flooding hazards during a downpour or storm surge.

The Boring Company’s initial estimates of the cost of a two-tunnel loop linking downtown and the beach ranged from $60 million to $90 million, Fort Lauderdale City Manager Chris Lagerbloom told the commission.

“It would be a first for Florida,” he said.

The city will reimburse The Boring Company for work to determine the optimal path for two underground tunnels between the beach and downtown and the system’s “guaranteed minimum price,” Lagerbloom said.

The maximum reimbursements are $50,000 for an analysis of alternatives to the planned tunnels, $100,000 for preliminary architectural and civil drawings of tunnels and stations, and $225,000 for a geotechnical report.
The commission approved these maximum payments as part of an interim agreement between the Texas-based company and the city to pursue a comprehensive agreement for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a two-tunnel system.

Tasks on the company’s to-do list under the interim agreement include on-site geophysical scanning to locate underground utilities, and “potholing” utility lines to confirm their depth. The Boring Company also must develop a plan to construct the launch location, stations, and ancillary facilities for the underground loop. Terms of the interim agreement require the company to file a project progress report to the city every 30 days. The interim agreement will remain in effect until superseded by a comprehensive agreement or terminated by mutual consent.

The commission adopted a resolution in October to work with The Boring Company toward potential development of a tunnel system for fast trips between the beach and downtown. The company delivered its unsolicited tunnel proposal to the city in June of last year. City commissioners then authorized a public solicitation for alternate proposals over a 45-day period that ended in August. Two unqualified alternate proposals were rejected as incomplete.

Mayor Dean Trantalis and other commissioners said the potential of a Las Olas Loop tunnel system in Fort Lauderdale is illustrated by The Boring Company’s subterranean loop in Las Vegas.

At a cost of $52.5 million, The Boring Company built a tunnel system beneath the 200-acre campus of the Las Vegas Convention Center, where drivers of electric cars made by Elon Musk’s Tesla traverse two one-way tunnels, each 0.8 miles long, shuttling passengers to their destinations at the sprawling center.

“The numbers are increasing very nicely in terms of the number of people who are using the [Las Vegas] system,” said Fort Lauderdale commissioner Ben Sorenson.

He foresees the potential to extend a similar tunnel system in Fort Lauderdale from the downtown and the beach to Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and Lockhart Stadium. “We need to look at a much bigger picture here,” Sorenson said.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Julie Jones (Florida Luxurious Properties)
    Top Broward broker Julie Jones joins Douglas Elliman
    Top Broward broker Julie Jones joins Douglas Elliman
    409 Southeast Eighth Street in Fort Lauderdale with Related Group CEO Jorge Pérez and President Jon Paul Pérez and Henry Pino, principal at Alta Development (Google Maps, Alta Development)
    Jorge Pérez’s Related, Henry Pino pay $15.5M for Fort Lauderdale dev site
    Jorge Pérez’s Related, Henry Pino pay $15.5M for Fort Lauderdale dev site
    (left to right) Nuveen's Mike Nuveen with 800 Waterford Way and Pebb Enterprises' Ian Weiner with 5355 Town Center Road (CoStar, Nuveen, TVS Design, Pebb)
    Lease roundup: Nuveen nabs fintech tenant in Miami, Brookfield scores 20 leases at Boca’s Mizner Park
    Lease roundup: Nuveen nabs fintech tenant in Miami, Brookfield scores 20 leases at Boca’s Mizner Park
    (left to right) Integra Investments' Nelson Stabile, Victor Ballestas, and Paulo Melo with the Ocean Park project (Integra Investments)
    Integra scores approval for Ocean Park hotel and condo project in Fort Lauderdale
    Integra scores approval for Ocean Park hotel and condo project in Fort Lauderdale
    Aimco's Wes Powell  and 901-927 North Federal Highway (LoopNet, Aimco)
    Aimco drops $64M for mixed-use dev site in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village
    Aimco drops $64M for mixed-use dev site in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village
    A rendering of the massive mixed-use project planned at 300 Northeast Third Avenue in Fort Lauderdale (ODA)
    Brooklyn developer plans 1,100-unit Fort Lauderdale project
    Brooklyn developer plans 1,100-unit Fort Lauderdale project
    David MacNeil with Four Seasons Residences (Weather Tech, KD Prime Properties)
    WeatherTech honcho buys condo at the Four Seasons Fort Lauderdale
    WeatherTech honcho buys condo at the Four Seasons Fort Lauderdale
    Renderings and plans for the redevelopment of the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale (Dwell Design Studio and Adache Group Architects)
    Galleria Fort Lauderdale owner revives, revamps redevelopment proposal
    Galleria Fort Lauderdale owner revives, revamps redevelopment proposal
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...