Elon Musk’s plan to build express-route tunnels in Las Vegas received its first approval on Tuesday after the board of directors for the city’s Convention and Visitors Authority voted in favor of Musk’s Boring Company for a new people-mover project.
The plan involves digging a loop of underground tunnels that could carry passengers in autonomous electric vehicles at high speeds. The loop would just encompass the convention center, but it could be expanded to include other points in Las Vegas, such as McCarran International Airport. The Boring Company said the initial phase would cost between $35 million and $55 million
The goal is to have the Boring Company’s transit system fully operational in time for the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show, but Musk said it could be up and running as soon as the end of this year.
The news comes as Musk’s other tunneling project in Chicago has run into serious political headwinds. The recent election to replace outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel has thrown the plan to connect O’Hare International Airport with the downtown Loop district into uncertainty, with both of the leading candidates calling for the Boring Company’s plan to be reevaluated.