Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk says his ambitious tunnel-boring endeavor, aptly named The Boring Company, has officially started digging underneath Los Angeles. Musk announced the news on Twitter, where he said “Godot,” the Samuel Beckett-inspired name of the company’s tunnel boring machine, had completed the the first segment of a tunnel in the Southern California metropolis. Prior to today, it was unclear how long it would take Musk to convince the city to allow him to move the experimental effort beyond the SpaceX parking lot in Hawthorne.
Musk has made a rather public showing of his offbeat tunnel-digging venture over the last few months, with an occasional flurry of Twitter announcements and Instagram posts to commemorate each new milestone. In May, Musk posted videos of test runs of the electric sled mechanism that would theoretically ferry cars at speeds up to 124 mph. Back in April, the company also put out a pretty neat concept video showing what an interconnected tunnel network might look like in a decade or two when it’s fully built out.
Along the way, Musk has attracted a ton of interest from his usual fans, as well as and the expected crowd of naysayers who think his idea of an underground tunnel network to cut down on traffic congestion is just a pipe dream. Proving his critics wrong, as Musk seems engineered to do, The Boring Company has made substantial progress since it became a real company late last year.
We don’t have details on what Musk hammered out with the city of LA. But he did tweet earlier this month about a meeting with L.A Mayor Eric Garcetti to lay the groundwork for the neccesary permits and regulatory approvals he’d need to start digging with Godot, which weighs about 1,200 tons and runs about 400 feet long. Musk said last month that the first tunnel would run from LAX to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood, and Sherman Oaks, with later tunnels covering more of the greater LA area. Now, it looks like the LAX to Culver City route appears underway.