Futurism
Boring Beaches

Experts Say Elon Musk’s Florida Tunnel Might Be a Soggy Mess

byTony Tran
Jul 11
Futurism

The proposed tunnel's at risk of extreme flooding from rising sea levels.

Tunnel Flood Risk

Experts have a warning for Elon Musk and the city of Fort Lauderdale: The underground tunnel they want to build could turn into a big soggy, wet headache for everyone involved.

City officials from Fort Lauderdale, Florida accepted a proposal from Musk’s Boring Company last week to build an underground tunnel from the downtown area to the beach, according to Recode. The tunnel would leverage self-driving Teslas to shuttle passengers to and fro. 

“This could be a truly innovative way to reduce traffic congestion,” Mayor Dean Trantalis tweeted.

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However, experts aren’t so sure. In fact, many have pointed out that the South Florida area is under severe threat of water level rise. As such, any tunnel being built in the swampy landscape is likely going to be a huge flood risk.

“It’s worth investigating whether that’s feasible from a structural and engineering perspective,” said Lily Elefteriadou, director of the University of Florida’s Transportation Institute, to Recode. “From a transportation systems perspective, it makes sense to look into alternatives to get people out of private vehicles and see if that might work.”

Samantha Montano, an assistant professor in emergency management at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, was also critical of the proposal. She pointed out the impacts of climate change could hinder the tunnel’s development. 

“Fort Lauderdale is already dealing with regular flooding which is only expected to become more common and more severe given the effects of climate change,” Montano said to Gizmodo.

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Promises Made, Promises Broken

Despite the talk from Musk and city officials, there’s a lot of reasons to believe that the plans might not ever come to fruition. Along with the environmental concerns, the Boring Company doesn’t exactly have a stellar reputation when it comes to following through with ambitious plans.

For example, there was the plan to dig a tunnel from Chicago’s Loop to the O’Hare Airport that fizzled out when former mayor Rahm Emanuel left office. There was also the time Musk tried to convince an Australian lawmaker to let him dig a tunnel from Sydney to the West

Even the tunnels that the Boring Company have dug — like the one in Las Vegas — are kind of big let downs. 

We’ll likely know in the next year whether or not this tunnel proposal will be approved by Fort Lauderdale. Even if it does, though, don’t hold your breath. 

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READ MORE: Elon Musk wants to dig a tunnel in Florida. What could go wrong? [Recode]

More on Boring Company: Boring Company Partner Teases 16-Passenger Tesla Vehicles


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