Elon Musk Says He Wants To Build An Underground Transportation Network In Miami

Tesla founder Elon Musk announced on Twitter yesterday that his Boring Company would be interested in building tunnels underneath Miami to eliminate traffic and pollution.

The tweet was in response to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who had invited him to visit city hall.

Miami’s tunnels would become an example to the world, Musk wrote. The solution would “solve traffic” and reduce pollution from cars stuck in congestion.

Musk also said that he had already spoken with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis last week about building the tunnels. If the Governor and Mayor want it done, “we will do it,” he said.

According to Quartz, Musk has a chance to achieve a breakthrough with tunnels by reducing the cost to build them in the U.S.

The cost to build tunnels in the U.S. is much higher than the rest of the world due to a lack of competition among contractors, government inefficiency and regulations, and unions, the website noted.

Miami has had recent success in building tunnels at a low cost – but Musk could potentially bring it even lower.

Studies had originally estimated that the 4,200-foot PortMiami twin-tunnel project would cost $3.1 billion, but the project was completed in 2014 for around $1 billion.

In Las Vegas, Musk’s The Boring Company built the Vegas Loop, with twin 4,475 foot tunnels in a loop under the Convention Center. Tesla cars will shuttle passengers through them. The total cost was $48.7 million.

Las Vegas is now pursuing a citywide network of tunnels from The Boring Company.

In recent years, FDOT decided not to build a tunnel for the I-395 replacement project through downtown Miami mainly due to costs, and is instead building a raised Signature Bridge.

An FDOT study claimed the cost to underground the highway would have been over $1.3 billion more than the bridge, bringing the cost to $2.1 billion instead of $800 million.

FDOT also expressed concern that a tunnel would need to be locked down during a hurricane due to potential flooding.

Local officials have also not taken action on a tunnel to replace the Brickell Avenue drawbridge. The bridge is the biggest trigger of traffic in downtown Miami since it is constantly being raised for marine traffic.

Government estimates have pegged the cost of the Brickell Tunnel at $1.1 billion to $1.7 billion.

Musk however appears to have much grander plans for Miami, with the possibility of a citywide tunnel network to eliminate traffic.

Musk recently surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the world’s wealthiest man.

 

 

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Anonymous
9 months ago

Bruh, I was actually estimating the cost last night… This is a no brainier. Start with the Brickell bridge as a test project

Anonymous
9 months ago

That is the one location this actually makes sense.

Anonymous
9 months ago

YESSSS!!

Anonymous
8 months ago

No brainier!

Anonymous
9 months ago

Look.. just extend the MetroMover from the MiamiCentral Station to Miami Beach and back. Tunnels and other “wet dream pie in the sky projects” that these rich billionaires dangle over a city that still ranks one of the top 10 poorest big cities in the USA is just Santa Claus in disguise playing mind games with our elected officials.

Do something simple first.. extend the MetroMover.

Anonymous
9 months ago

Our leaders will stop at nothing to prevent building any actual relief for those they represent.

Anonymous
8 months ago

There’s the theory that relieving traffic congestion will cause “urban sprawl” and will lead to increased traffic congestion. To me, it sounds like preventing your kids from outgrowing their clothes by not feeding them, but I’m not a city planner with a PHD.

Maria Luisa Castellanos, R.A.
8 months ago

I have laughed so hard!

Anonymous
8 months ago

The theory is that relieving traffic congestion by simply creating more places for people to drive (i.e. building an extra lane or an underground highway) will encourage more people to drive and induce more traffic, which will only lead to the same problem reoccurring down the road. The only real solution to traffic congestion is for less people to drive.

The analogy you’re looking for is fixing obesity by loosening your belt another notch.

Anonymous
9 months ago

If he can build affordable tunnels then they should put the metro under ground and create a subway system

BDub
9 months ago

He sells electric cars, not metro trains.
His cars also have advanced driver assist. Tunnels would greatly reduce the complexity of self driving vehicles.

Anonymous
8 months ago

Better to have point to point transportation where passengers go directly to their destination without 35 stupid stops before you get there.

Maria Luisa Castellanos, R.A.
8 months ago

I’ve always heard that it was very difficult to build tunnels because the water table in Miami is 3′-0″ below the surface. This means that the builder would have to be continuously trying to pump water out as he is building. This is a very expensive process. Would love to hear what Musk plans to do with the water while he is trying to build.

Anonymous
9 months ago

He should build a subway system then!

Optimist
8 months ago

A Metrorail subway from Miami Central to Miami Beach and up the coast could be successful. The population density is high enough to support it.

Anonymous
9 months ago

I’m confused, do cars in tunnels not get stuck in traffic?

This is just stupid.

Anonymous
9 months ago

haha so true! Cars don’t belong underground especially in Miami.

Anonymous
9 months ago

Imagine not having to block intersections with a highway, use land lanes for local traffic, and divert nonlocal traffic underground. Imagine in the Brickell bridge adding a tunnel there and tell me that won’t relieve traffic in Brickell and downtown. Also, think about how DT used to be before the Port Miami tunnel with the trucks.

Anonymous
9 months ago

“divert nonlocal traffic underground”

Well I guess that’ll do it then. No one in Miami should be concerned about being inconvenienced by car accidents or cars breaking down in a tunnel.

Anonymous
9 months ago

isn’t all traffic in Miami local traffic???? unless it is on the expressway it is local. people don’t drive thru downtown Miami on there way to somewhere else ——— geezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Anonymous
8 months ago

Correct. Look at the port miami tunnel example. Trucks and cars not heading into downtown are routed to the tunnel. And local traffic can go to the port using the downtown bridge.

Anonymous
8 months ago

Not the way the Boring company builds them. For one, the lowest speed is 120mph, it goes upt to 600mph.

https://www.boringcompany.com/faq

Anonymous
8 months ago

A city Loop system by The Boring Company would not have speeds between 120mph and 600 mph.
The 600 mph figure is for a hyperloop, which has nothing to do with a city Loop using electric cars. And the 120 mph figure is possible for electric cars in mostly-straight lanes with a very long turn radius, but only if there is not much traffic. A practical city Loop will not have cars going 120 mph under a busy city.

Anonymous
9 months ago

have him do Brickell tunnel as a test case and then go from there. Entire downtown/Brickell area benefits – better air quality; less noise pollution; more green space, etc.
Port tunnel project proves just how wrong FDOT can be. Miami bashers on this site never bring up the success of that project. (it has also been hurricane tested since completion- no problems)

Anonymous
8 months ago

Yep, just what this city needs, more people walking aimlessly around in huge open green spaces downtown like we see in those pictures.

Michael J Euteneuer Jr
8 months ago

Its better to have a park or other kind of nature area than it is to have more road and congested traffic. Certainly it would be an improvement.

Anonymous
8 months ago

Really?.. so that’s why they want to keep over one million acres of federal park space called “The Everglades National Park” where a lot of it is in Dade county, free of “roads and congested traffic?”

Anonymous
9 months ago

We need shore power to solve the pollution problem in downtown.

Anonymous
8 months ago

Underrated comment

Anonymous
8 months ago

Tunnels for some areas are ok – but in Florida I prefer to drive among the palm trees and bay views

Anonymous
8 months ago

Exactly. Tunnels would be fine for Indianapolis or Detroit, not scenic sunny Miami.

Anonymous
9 months ago

The guy who owns a luxury car company is going to “solve traffic.”

Azarius
9 months ago

From the same guy that out beat gas cars and was called crazy for years but hey what can the richest guy in the world do for Miami

Anonymous
9 months ago

Forget what he can do for Miami, he better fix those 158,000 cars he sold first.

Anonymous
8 months ago

I see people are down voting this remark… I guess they didn’t hear (or don’t care) about the 158,000 Tesla”s that’s being recalled.

Sure Jan
9 months ago

Azarius, he’s just looking to make himself richer. If everyone used electric cars, it wouldn’t be cleaner for the environment because of the energy sources used to produce the electricity required to charge said vehicles. It’s just a more expensive car that also happens to combust more randomly that gas vehicles. Building tunnels where sea level rise is guaranteed is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Would love to see what environmental and civil engineers have to say about this.

Danny Costa
8 months ago

He’s also the same guy that brought maned-space flight back to the United States. He’s also the guy that created reusable rocket boosters that land on their own. He’s also the guy that is exploring humanity to one day become interplanetary. I’d put my faith in him.

Anonymous
8 months ago

Well aren’t you the gullible one?

Michael J Euteneuer Jr
8 months ago

The man runs a company that reuses rockets for space and just recently delivered astronauts to the space station on a craft made by his company.

I think he can be given the benefit of the doubt for trying to ease traffic in an area that needs it.

Anonymous G
9 months ago

This would be pretty sick ngl. Would definitely increase the local economy in terms of jobs etc.

Anonymous
8 months ago

This project failed miserably in Los Angeles

Truth
8 months ago

They haven’t done anything yet in LA aside from starting an EIR because of nimbies like you.
Las Vegas took him up on his offer and the convention center is less than a month away and now Boring Co. Already has preliminary approval to build many miles of transit for Vegas going all the way to the airport.

Anonymous
8 months ago

There isn’t a Loop project in LA, you silly boy.

Shawn Kouri
9 months ago

Elon Musk and the Boring Company is building tunnels in Los Angeles and coming soon, Las Vegas and Chicago. Now he wants to build a boring company tunnel system here in Miami? Really? To be honest with you, I’m not sure if that’s gonna work here in Miami though. Because keep in mind, Miami sits on poorest lime stone. Also, Miami is basically at sea level technically and is on a very high water table. So if you were to dig underground, you can dig so deep to where you might actually hit water. And those tunnels are pretty heavy. At least according to some rumors. But anyways Miami is on soft porous lime stone and we have hurricanes in Miami, and we are basically at or a couple of feet above sea level, and in downtown Miami, that is especially not going to work because Biscayne Bay is literally right there I so that is for sure not going to work. There is no way you can build one of those tunnels in downtown Miami. It’s way too close to the water, it is closer to sea level, and for sure you can have water. It’s only good enough to build a couple of floors of an underground parking garage. But the tunnel like the boring company tunnels? No way Jose.

Anonymous
9 months ago

The biggest issue is not so much the construction part, the tunnel can self encase as its being built. The biggest issue would be with floods above ground level, if that water gets in the tunnel it could be costly to get it out and cause damage. The entrances of the tunnel would have to be built at a higher elevation or else the tunnels would need to close when there are storm surges or floods. That being said, I would say start with smaller projects first, because from an engineering perspective it’s possible. Look at the fort Lauderdale tunnel, and which was built with older technology.

Anonymous
9 months ago

No, the biggest is “who’s going to pay for all this?” If you don’t own a home in Miami, then you don’t realize how high homeowners already pay in taxes.

Anonymous
9 months ago

If only we had a half-penny tax and all these tollways. I agree with you but Miami has plenty of money to spend, and with federal grants potentially coming there is an opportunity. The biggest of biggest issues is these brain dead corrupt politicians who have no vision and just think more highways and cars are the solution. I see public transit as a way to move into the future and innovative solutions like this that help mend the damage that has already been done

Sure Jan
9 months ago

If you rent, you are also paying property taxes. You’re naive to think it isn’t worked into rent.

Anonymous
8 months ago

So you’re saying that Miami should never build any infrastructure projects, because who would pay for it? You think Miami already has enough investment, and should never do any more? Wow, that’s brilliant!

Anonymous
8 months ago

Who’s talking about never doing anything? Tunnels won’t be cheap to build in Miami. Check out the millions of people that have been made unemployed since coronavirus hit this country. The amount of money that’s going into government coffers has been affected by these lay offs. So where is the money going to come from to build a tunnel infrastructure in Miami.. taxpayers?.. homeowners? If you think a system like that is going to be inexpensive to do in Miami, then I got a plot of land on the moon I think you’ll be interested in.

Shawn Kouri
8 months ago

Agreed! Even in a thunderstorm, that would flood. Either way, Miami is on porous limestone . A tunnel in Miami is not going to happen happen

Anonymous
9 months ago

Idiot. Really not worth a response. However, because you irk me so much, I will just ask this question. Have you not seen the Port of Miami tunnel that crosses Biscayne bay to the port, built under water and has endured several severe hurricanes? Did you not read the article?

Maria Luisa Castellanos, R.A.
8 months ago

Finally, someone who understands the problem!

Anonymous
9 months ago

Go ahead Miami, please fall for this guy and his ‘offers’. I am sure he doesn’t have his personal agenda to advertise his company whose existence very few people who are not deep in the business is aware of. Funny how lot’s of folks are quick to spot politicians who have personal agendas but have serious blindspots to private business men’s agenda, which are oftentimes not even hidden. Nothing like worshipping money and ‘the private sector’ when they come calling. And by the way, I have nothing against the private sector or business or good govt for that matter. I just need folks to be fair. Crappy govt plans and execution thereof seem to get far more attention on sites like this while ignoring the hundreds of thousands of bad business strategies, plans, and execution that happen daily! It’s laughable.

Michael J Euteneuer Jr
8 months ago

So why shouldn’t there be tunnels under Miami to reduce traffic? Just because you don’t like Elon? If they can do it cheaper than everyone else out there and the politicians STILL choose the more expensive option then we should toss out those politicians for wasting our tax money.

Money is how the world works. Nothing happens for free. Much less when you whinge and complain. If you had your way nothing would get done.

Maria Luisa Castellanos, R.A.
8 months ago

It’s technologically very difficult to do because of the water table. That’s why we have an overhead Metrorail while everyone else in the world has underground metros. (See my comment above). Or did you think that the designers of Metrorail just thought that it would be more scenic to have the rail above?

Anonymous
8 months ago

With all due respect, I don’t care if you have a degree in Civil Enginering from MIT… If Elon says his company can do it, I believe him. I don’t believe a NMiami engineer who designed the streets in NW MD.

Anonymous
8 months ago

Did you all catch that his tunnels are for electric cars? It would defeat the purpose to put gas and human drivers in a tunnel.

Anonymous
8 months ago

Yep.. Tesla with tunnels and the Genting group with Monorails. The ultra wealthy people that make up these companies are hypnotizing these gullible elected officials in Miami with pretty glittering trinkets.

Anonymous
8 months ago

This would be a good idea if they were able to reclaim the roads above the tunnel as public space and parks instead of more roads. That way, most of car traffic would be kept underground and the aboveground would be for people again.

Aqua-Nautik Underwater-Work LLC
8 months ago

That’s awesome! To build below the water table without pumping the groundwater it’s possible and more important NECESSARY. if you’re working with the right experience people together. It’s not new and not an experiment because 1998 train stations and underground tunnels was created up to 60’ below the water table in Berlin Germany.
Aqua-Nautik Underwater-Work LLC is based in Fort Lauderdale and has more than 20 years experience the build below the water table. His last big project was the Airport in Frankfurt Germany. These guys poured total 56,000.00y3 of underwater concrete to create the foundation for the 3rd Terminal.
It would be an amazing project and will shoot Miami in the Olymp of the modernst city’s in the world.

Anonymous
9 months ago

Dream on

Roberto
9 months ago

Although this sounds awesome and exciting. Floods are definitely a problem. That is why everything is elevated here. Metrorail, parking podiums, expressways. I think we should focus in extending public transit, not buses though, between major population areas and job areas.

Danny Costa
8 months ago

I’ll bet the Boring Company already knows that and takes flooding into account on their possible designs.

Anonymous
9 months ago

How about starting with our existing infrastructure – our horrible roads and the traffic nightmare that is the Brickell Avenue bridge. Both will only get worst with all the new influx of residents. This should be easy enough for the genius that is Elon!

Bryan Riley
8 months ago

So we build mass transit all around Brickell and downtown and yet they also need a billion dollar tunnel so they can manage the traffic nightmare with cars. You can’t make this up 🤦🏾‍♂️

Anonymous
8 months ago

Well off people don’t suppose to be inconvenienced… I thought you knew?!

Anonymous
8 months ago

🤦‍♂️

Anonymous
8 months ago

What a brilliant idea people love to relocate here for the weather and the lifestyle but forget about how horrible the traffic is. Underground transportation is genius have it connecting to all areas of Florida.

Anonymous
8 months ago

Underground tunnel? Wouldn’t that be swimming with the fishies?

Engineer
8 months ago

He needs this to build this for his hyperloop.. if he does build 2 to 3 cities tunnel underground with a fraction of the cost, then investors will fund his hyperloop.. LA to NY in 3 hours, and maybe loop to London..

jjsj
8 months ago

I’m not an expert on the matter, but I could see where the Brickell Ave tunnel would be advantageous. I also thought the 836/MacArthur Causeway tunnel option would have helped revitalize the Biscayne Blvd area. The reason why we don’t see much activity in these areas, is because no one wants to walk under the bridges and possibly get harassed or attacked. Perhaps having several tunnels running under the Miami River would help with the “Riverwalk” plank; right now it’s only in sections and no one (again) wants to walk under those bridges and potentially be at risk. On a personal note – there are sections of Kendall Drive (117ave intersection) where a tunnel would really alleviate the congestion. Maybe these could be future solutions to the East-West traffic on a lot of these streets? Just giving my $0.02.

Anonymous
8 months ago

will the tunnels be water proof?

Anonymous
8 months ago

I love the idea. However, remember how Brickell turned into Biscayne Bay during Irma? Chances are there will be another hurricane and well sea water can’t be good for tunnels? Especially when you will find fish and manatees living inside the tunnel once the storm is over.

Oh, now I get it!! They will turn the tunnel into the next seaquarium and charge admission. These politicians are so smart!

Corruption in Miami
8 months ago

Mayor Francis Suarez is working day and night to demolish Melreese Park. That public park is over 100 acres and Suarez wants to give the land to speculators who are campaign contributors. The speculators AKA campaign contributors promise to demo the park then cover the site in guess what? Concrete…office buildings…a mall… Maybe Elon Musk can #SaveMelreesePark

Anonymous
9 months ago

So we can be stuck underground…k

Anonymous
8 months ago

let him do what he wants.

Anonymous
8 months ago

let him do what he wants.