Elon Musk’s Underground Tunnel System in Las Vegas Hitting All Sorts of Snags

  • The Vegas Loop is currently two miles long and has five stops
  • People have suffered serious chemical burns while working on the project
  • Las Vegas Mayor Godman believes TBC will eventually abandon its plans
Orange danger tape
A new investigation has highlighted unsafe working conditions and other issues with Elon Musk’s underground tunnel system in Las Vegas. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A subway with cars

While Elon Musk is not someone who lacks ambition, his plan to build a system of underground tunnels that would eventually link Las Vegas and Los Angeles is running into all sorts of snags. A fleet of Tesla vehicles currently transports people slowly through the 12-foot wide passages:

The Vegas Loop now is two miles in length and has five stops that link the Westgate and Encore Las Vegas casino resorts with the Las Vegas Convention Center. Its supposed goal is to combat the city’s notorious traffic problem and Clark County Commissioners approved The Boring Company (TBC) plans last May to eventually have 73 stations.

Uncovering issues

An investigation by Bloomberg Businessweek highlights some of the big issues that the project is dealing with. The working conditions are reportedly terrible, with workers having to wade through mud that is sometimes up to their knees. It now appears that this could be toxic mud containing a variety of chemicals in addition to silt, sand, and water.

many workers have reported serious incidents, including injuries that have led to permanent scarring

The use of accelerants helps to seal the tunnel’s concrete supports and ward off deterioration. It also causes major skin burns; many workers have reported serious incidents, including injuries that have led to permanent scarring, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

No workers have lost their lives on the project, despite a close call during the summer when big concrete blocks nearly fell on an intern. OSHA issued fines totaling $112,504 shortly after discovering eight violations.

Much remains to be done

The long-term plan for TBC in Sin City is to have a major tunnel system that will connect most of downtown Las Vegas and the Strip. Progress is very slow and Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman believes that the company might eventually abandon the project. Speaking to Bloomberg Businessweek, she described the plans as impractical and sees major stumbling blocks.

TBC has to fund the construction of the tunnels, with the costs of the stations falling on the resorts and landowners.

Musk has claimed that the company’s innovative tunnel development strategies make major industrial projects a lot faster and cheaper to complete. Some employees believe that the development work is unsafe, with one former worker telling Bloomberg that they would “never, ever drive in one of those tunnels.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *