A few months after their announcement, Musk and the Boring Company are now abandoning their LA test tunnel.
In a joint statement issued by Elon Musk‘s Boring Company and the residents of LA Westside on Tuesday, both parties confirmed that the company will no longer pursue the LA test tunnel project.
“The Boring Company is no longer seeking the development of the Sepulveda test tunnel,” a part of the statement reads.
The abandoned test tunnel plan was supposed to be built underneath Los Angeles’ 405 freeway and Sepulveda Boulevard. The project drew controversy after two rich neighborhood groups filed a lawsuit against the LA City officials.
The residents of Westside reportedly accused LA officials of exempting the tunnel plans from the mandatory environmental review, an action that directly violates state law. The two groups and the Boring Company met and reached a settlement leading to the official closure of the tunneling project.
The LA Test Tunnel
Musk initially announced the LA test tunnel last May during one of his evening talks. Back then, Musk described the north to south test tunnel as around 2.7 miles long. He also mentioned that the tunnel would not be public and instead used as a test system for user feedback.
During his talk, Musk claimed that the state of California had exempted the Boring Company, from getting a permit under the California Environmental Quality Act.
By law, Musk has to secure a CEQA permit if the tunnel would be carrying people. However, the permit could take years to processe, and Musk doesn’t have that much time.
Backlash From Wealthy Residents
Two wealthy neighborhood groups, the Brentwood Residents Coalition and the Sunset Coalition, expressed their dismay over Musk’s announcement and sued the City of Los Angeles.
The unforeseen opposition from the affluent residents of LA drove the Boring Company away from the supposed LA test tunnel project.
“Previously, The Boring Company proposed a test tunnel under Sepulveda as a proof of concept for tunneling in Los Angeles. However, this test tunnel proposal did not include passenger operations and included only one surface terminal (as opposed to two),” the company announced in August.
Still, the closing of the project only reflects the strength of wealthier neighborhoods. Backed by enough connections and resources, these areas can often stop innovation from changing their communities.
At the moment, Musk and the Boring Company are focusing on the completion of another LA test tunnel being built in Hawthorne.