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An underground 'Tesla tunnel' could be coming to Florida to help alleviate traffic

Fort Lauderdale just accepted a proposal from Elon Musk's Boring Company to connect its downtown area to the beach with an underground transit system.
Credit: AP
Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla Inc., arrives in a modified Tesla Model X electric vehicle during an unveiling event for the Boring Company Hawthorne test tunnel in Hawthorne, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. Musk unveiled his underground transportation tunnel on Tuesday, allowing reporters and invited guests to take some of the first rides in the revolutionary albeit bumpy subterranean tube — the tech entrepreneur's answer to what he calls "soul-destroying traffic." (Robyn Beck/Pool Photo via AP)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — An underground transit system, spearheaded by Elon Musk's Boring Company, could come to Fort Lauderdale in an effort to combat traffic congestion. 

The city's mayor announced Fort Lauderdale has formally accepted a proposal by the company to build a tunneled form of transportation called "The Las Olas Loop" to connect its downtown area to the beach. 

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

According to the Miami Herald, the underground mode of transportation would be around 2.2 miles long and connect Las Olas Boulevard's Brightline Station to Las Olas Oceanside Park.

While the proposal is approved, it doesn't mean anything is a done deal-- yet. Other firms looking to submit competing proposals to the Boring Company have 45 days to do so. 

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The estimated cost of the project is not yet known, but if local officials move forward with the proposal it could come with a hefty price tag. 

Las Vegas just opened up a "Loop" of its own at its convention center in June after about a year of construction. The cost? Around $47 million for 1.7 miles of tunnel and three stations.

According to the Boring Company, its loop tunnels are currently priced at around $10 million per mile, outside of additional project costs. 

Here's how it works: Riders will head underground to enter an "all-electric, zero-emissions" Loop where passengers will hop in a Tesla to be transported through tunnels to their final destination without additional stops.

Creators of the underground experience tout its efficiency saying the Las Vegas Loop reduces what would be a 45-minute walk to an approximately two-minute ride.

The exact number of people able to be ferried through the proposed South Florida Loop have yet to be shared but estimates from the Boring Company show its current three-station Vegas Loop is designed to transport 4,400 passengers an hour. Its second Vegas location is anticipated to move approximately 51,000 people per hour across 43 stations.

“To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D. Surface roads today incorporate 3D model-like elevated highways and cloverleaf interchanges that are expensive and disruptive to build," the Boring Company wrote online. "Tunneling networks are 3D and provide high-throughput transportation in an economically viable way. Traffic and congestion will be a thing of the past.”

Musk's vision for traffic alleviation has drawn critics and questions regarding the necessity of such a project when other public transit solutions are on the table. 

But the Boring Company is ready to go on the defense, saying the introduction of an underground transit system keeps cities beautiful, allows for roads to be repurposed and minimizes the usage of valuable surface area. 

The company also touts that its mode of transportation is 100-percent waterproof.

"This represents an innovative approach to addressing traffic congestion and transit needs in 21st century America," Trantalis wrote.

RELATED: Elon Musk: Dig tunnels as solution for Miami's traffic jams

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