Chicago Says Elon Musk’s Company Will Build Tunnels, Electric Cars, to Go to O’Hare

City officers hope for building to start inside a 12 months, and to final lower than three years. But a lot stays unsure. Mr. Emanuel’s administration should nonetheless negotiate a contract with the corporate. The Chicago City Council should give its blessing. Even if the undertaking comes for gratis to taxpayers, it’s unclear how intensive the prices can be: Early estimates have reached near $1 billion.

A undertaking like this seems by no means to have been accomplished earlier than. Mr. Musk’s firm describes the Chicago undertaking as a style of the transportation future, a approach to cut back congestion and to get round quicker by touring in underground tunnels on a “platform on wheels propelled by multiple electric motors.”

Mr. Musk’s firm, the Boring Company, is already engaged on a test tunnel project in Hawthorne, Calif. It has utilized to construct another tunnel in Los Angeles and is proposing another between Washington and Baltimore. The firm’s plans have run into regulatory questions and skepticism from native officers in California and on the East Coast.

In Chicago, Mr. Musk’s undertaking can be a approach for taxpayers to recoup their funding on an unused transit superstation beneath a downtown procuring middle that had been envisioned within the early 2000s as a place to begin for specific trains to O’Hare. That web site — which has at varied occasions been described as a “money pit” and a “superstation to nowhere” — reportedly price greater than $250 million, and was ultimately mothballed. At O’Hare, a brand new station must be constructed to accommodate the brand new service with skates.

For Mr. Emanuel, a Democrat, the brand new undertaking is according to his plans for O’Hare’s future. An anticipated growth will improve the airport’s gate capability by 25 %, metropolis officers say, and almost $500 million has been promised to modernize the L line to the airport.

The metropolis solicited proposals final 12 months for corporations that might construct a transportation choice delivering passengers to O’Hare in 20 minutes or much less, and in November, Mr. Musk stated on Twitter that his firm was vying for the contract.

If accomplished as deliberate, subterranean rides to the airport would price not more than a visit through taxi or Uber, however most likely considerably greater than the L prepare, which takes about 40 minutes to get from the Loop to the airport and presents spherical journeys for $7.50.

Mr. Emanuel, who’s up for re-election in early 2019, faces an unlimited discipline of challengers, and it’s unclear whether or not they would transfer ahead with the undertaking if elected. They embody Garry F. McCarthy, a former Chicago police superintendent; Lori E. Lightfoot, a former Chicago Police Board president; and Paul G. Vallas, a former chief govt of the town’s faculty system.

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