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Boring Co test tunnel gets approval from LA public works

The first 2.7-mile "proof of concept" tunnel will be exempt from environmental review.

The Boring Co has avoided a significant regulatory hurdle in its proposal to dig a 2.7-mile "proof of concept" tunnel in West Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles City Council's public works committee earlier this week unanimously approved an environmental review exemption for the test tunnel, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The company claims the tunnel will initially be used for testing tunnel boring machines, switching equipment and other technology. Notably, the tunnel could eventually be converted to a public transit route but only after completing an environmental review and receiving other permits.

Boring Co faces a bit of resistance from the Metro Transportation Authority, which claims to retain approval authority over any public mass transit systems.

"There's pushback on just about every project, regardless of its validity," Councilman Paul Koretz said in an interview with the Times. "I think they've taken enough steps and analysis to at least allow them to get into the earth from private property, and to begin digging."

The plan appears to be scaled back slightly from the initial 6.5-mile proof-of-concept route through Los Angeles and Culver City. Sticking to 2.7 miles allows the company to fall within a certain exemption category for projects that are less than 5 acres in size.

Boring Co has proposed a much wider network of tunnels around the Los Angeles region. The company envisions high-speed 'skates' that can transport vehicles or passenger pods at triple-digit speeds.