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Elon Musk aims for 2020 completion of underground Las Vegas project

Elon Musk tweeted Friday night that The Boring Company’s underground tunnel project in Las Vegas will be “hopefully fully operational” within the next year.

According to Musk’s tweets, the $52.5 million people-mover system being built beneath the Las Vegas Convention Center will be operational in 2020. Boring Co. and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority have said that the 1-mile system will be ready by the January 2021 CES trade show.

CNN Business on Saturday reported that a spokesperson for the convention authority said the 2020 deadline is “in line” with the goal of being ready for the January 2021 show.

The convention authority did not immediately respond to request for comment Saturday night.

Authority President and CEO Steve Hill told board members on Dec. 10 that the project is off to an expected slow start.

Hill explained that the drill being used to create the tunnel is at its best when the entire 300-foot length of the machine is extended underground.

“It’s like crawling,” he told the Review-Journal in December. “The machine pushes against the tunnel and moves itself forward. … So they have to go pretty slow when it starts, and then it picks up.”

The drill was officially powered up in November to create the system beneath and around the conventional center. The first-of-its-kind system from Musk’s company will include about a mile of twin tunnels around 40 feet underground, connected to three stations on the convention center’s 200-acre campus.

In addition to burrowing beneath portions of Swenson Street, Paradise Road and Convention Center Drive, the machine will tunnel below the convention center’s Central Exhibition Hall.

Once operational, the system is designed to transport people in autonomously operated vehicles, supplied by Tesla, another of Musk’s companies. The cars will be able to transport up to 16 people at a time.

The company also has proposals to build similar systems in Los Angeles, Chicago and between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

Musk also tweeted Friday night that the company will work on “other projects” after it completes the Las Vegas commercial tunnel.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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