The Boring Company’s big reveal of its first completed tunnel project is just 12 days away. But Elon Musk’s digging venture just hit a major roadblock on a separate project.
In a statement on Tuesday, the company announced that it will no longer pursue digging a tunnel below Sepulveda Boulevard on the Westside of Los Angeles. The company decided to settle with local advocate groups after facing lawsuits over plans for the tunnel instead.
The project has been highly controversial since its initial announcement last year. While the Boring Company found support from two LA County council members, the lawsuits from local Westside advocate groups started to pile up.
“We’ll have people stuck in traffic on the surface, and this miracle fast lane underground for the people who can afford it,” Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole told the Los Angeles Times. “It’ll be toll lanes on steroids.”
That leaves the Boring Company with four ongoing projects, most of which are still being negotiated with local governments. There’s the Test Tunnel near its headquarters in Hawthorne, California. There’s a tunnel meant to shepherd baseball fans from East Hollywood directly to the Dodger Stadium in LA. There are plans for a Chicago Express Loop to O’Hare Airport. And they’re also working on a tunnel that connects downtown DC to Maryland.
But today’s news is a blow to a project that “started out as a joke,” according to Elon Musk in a recent interview with Joe Rogan.
More on Boring Company tunnels: Elon Musk: First Boring Company Tunnel Will Open in December