Elon Musk’s underground construction start-up, The Boring Company, has completed its tunnel loop under the Las Vegas Convention Centre (LVCC). With a design that is capable of transporting 4,400 riders per hour, the project is their first commercial endeavor.
The loop is a three-station transit system consisting of 2.7 km (1.7 miles) of tunnels that connects one end of the LVCC to the other (North/Central/South Halls) and reduces a 45-minute walk to nearly two minutes.
It was built within an approximate period of one year and at a cost of $50M (firm-fixed pricing) for the two tunnels and three stations (two surface and one subsurface).
Digging on the first tunnel began in November 2019 using the now-legacy Godot Tunnel Boring Machine which has been replaced by a new one called Prufrock, allegedly the ne plus ultra of tunneling machines and a whole order of magnitude faster than Godot.
Keeping in view the glitzy Las Vegas aura, the underground station and paved tunnels are also fitted with multi-colored LED lighting. A separate command center is utilized for system monitoring.
The ultimate goal is to have a complex tunnel system underneath the entire city, where this LVCC loop could eventually be merged with a larger loop under Las Vegas.
As of now, the convention center vehicles can only reach 55 km/h and use drivers, but the speed could be increased once the company switches to autonomous Tesla vehicles, and the trips could get longer as the loop is integrated into a larger system.