Elon Musk pushes to build an underground tunnel for Tesla vehicles in North Miami Beach

Elon Musk is pushing to build a massive 6.2-mile underground tunnel to carry Tesla vehicles and their passengers through the congested North Miami Beach area.

Musk’s Boring Company is currently considering Hard Rock Stadium and Florida International University’s Biscayne campus as hosts for the proposed transit tunnel, which will run under Miami-Dade, according to the Miami Herald.

The tunnel, which would initially see Tesla vehicles carrying up to 7,500 passengers per hour with an eventual goal of 15,000 per hour, would have drivers passing under State Route 826 East from 2nd Avenue Northwest to 35th Avenue North -East.

The “rough” estimated cost of the project is between $180 million and $220 million and is expected to be completed within 36 months of construction, according to Boring.

A loop to Hard Rock would run an additional three miles, while the FIU-Biscayne spur would run about 1.8 miles.

Pictured: An example of The Boring Company transit tunnels, which would allow Tesla vehicles and their passengers to be transported easily through congested traffic areas

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Directors has approved a contract with The Boring Company to design and build a double-tunnel loop system for the Las Vegas Convention Center

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Board of Directors has approved a contract with The Boring Company to design and build a double-tunnel loop system for the Las Vegas Convention Center

Tesla electric cars are lined up in front of two one-way tunnels built by Elon Musk's The Boring Company at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Nevada, USA, April 2021

Tesla electric cars are lined up in front of two one-way tunnels built by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Nevada, USA, April 2021

Traffic slows to 10 mph along State Route 7 in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Traffic slows to 10 mph along State Route 7 in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Elon Musk gestures as he speaks during a press conference at SpaceX's Starbase facility near the village of Boca Chica in South Texas

Elon Musk gestures as he speaks during a press conference at SpaceX’s Starbase facility near the village of Boca Chica in South Texas

The idea, which is also being considered in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, is designed to solve traffic problems and congestion.

Critics of the plan need only look to Las Vegas, where Musk’s Vegas Loop – a 1.7-mile track for hand-driven Teslas to drive under the city’s convention center at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour – where users expressed concerns about getting stuck in the tunnel and other safety issues.

A viral video of a traffic jam forming in a tunnel at last month’s CES 2022 consumer electronics show shows that Musk’s system is far from immune to the traffic jam problem.

“Vegas Loop can’t even cope with #CES2022 during a pandemic,” tech blogger Sascha Pallenberg tweeted Thursday.

“Congratulations @CityOfLasVegas, this must be the most advanced traffic jam in the world!”

Musk’s tunneling company submitted the proposal earlier this month on Feb. 1 for North Miami Beach, making it the second of two after plans for Fort Lauderdale were submitted in June.

Not everyone is a fan of the concept, however, with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez favoring an expanded public transit system.

Meanwhile, North Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Joseph said the project will both reduce traffic congestion while serving as a tourist attraction for the city in the process.

” Why not us ? he said, after recently visiting the Vegas Loop, calling it “sharp.”

“We have a lot of development coming up, we want to plan ahead. We know that development comes from everywhere.

The next step in the process is to submit a draft agreement to city officials on March 15, according to city manager Chris Lagerbloom.

Elon Musk arrives in a modified Tesla Model X electric vehicle at a The Boring Company Hawthorne Test Tunnel unveiling event on December 18, 2018 in Hawthorne, California

Elon Musk arrives in a modified Tesla Model X electric vehicle at a The Boring Company Hawthorne Test Tunnel unveiling event on December 18, 2018 in Hawthorne, California

Elon Musk shows first renderings of Boring Company's Las Vegas loop station where passengers will board high-speed driverless Teslas

Elon Musk shows first renderings of Boring Company’s Las Vegas loop station where passengers will board high-speed driverless Teslas

Pictured: Musks' 1.7-mile Vegas Loop allows human-driven Teslas to cruise under the city's convention center at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour

Pictured: Musks’ 1.7-mile Vegas Loop allows human-driven Teslas to cruise under the city’s convention center at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour

Pictured: The proposed location for the Fort Lauderdale tunnel

Pictured: The proposed location for the Fort Lauderdale tunnel

“It’s a very real project,” Lagerbloom added.

Details regarding funding and the feasibility of the projects are reportedly still being discussed.

Joseph said city officials are currently working to determine potential funding sources to build the underground tunnel.

He noted that a substantial portion could come from money included in federal infrastructure legislation just signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden, with state funding likely contributing to the project as well.

“We know they’re looking to invest in communities that traditionally don’t receive infrastructure funding,” Joseph said. “And we are a majority minority community.”

“Engineers looked at it, and I talked to more underground engineers than ever before,” Lagerbloom said of the feasibility of the tunnel.

“The underground tunnel has been accepted worldwide as a completely feasible solution for vehicles, trains and any mode of transport. The fact that we are in South Florida has no bearing on the ability to dig a tunnel. It mainly has to do with the method and certain polymers used to keep water out. But as to whether it is possible: it is very possible.

Bonny J. Streater