Elon Musk’s tunnel-digging venture The Boring Company’s next project could be a tunnel that helps SpaceX workers in Texas get to their launch site more easily, according to local outlet The Brownsville Herald.
The Boring Company met with local officials last month and proposed a tunnel that would link an area where most SpaceX employees live, South Padre Island, to the company’s Starbase in Boca Chica.
While a solution for SpaceX employees to get to work, the tunnel would also aid with public beach access, which has been hampered for some time due to activity at the Starbase, county admin Pete Sepulveda Jr. told The Brownsville Herald:
From what we understand from SpaceX is there is a good portion of the beach that can remain open if there was access to it, even though the road is closed and even though a portion of the beach is closed.
While Cameron County officials seem to like The Boring Company’s idea, they don’t want to pay for its construction:
(Paying for it) is not something that the county would be interested in,” Sepulveda said. “That would be prohibitive for us. We really didn’t get into those details, but once we do we wouldn’t be able to participate with any type of funding.
The story mentions that a 1.7-mile tunnel in Las Vegas cost The Boring Company $47 million to build. The proposed tunnel from South Padre Island to Boca Chica Beach would be shorter, though it would have to run under the Brownsville Ship Channel, which is 42 feet deep. For now, this tunnel is just a proposal, with a county official telling the Brownsville Herald that his team would need an in-depth feasibility study to assess how to move forward.
From a ferry service to a whole new road, Sepulveda says that the tunnel might have the least impact on the environment, but he reiterated that no funds would come from the county, saying: “I’m not sure what amount if any we can bring to the table financially.”