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Boring Company has big Vegas Loop plans, but when will they dig in?

Updated July 26, 2021 - 12:11 pm

As visitor volume continues to tack upward in Las Vegas, traffic congestion is returning with it.

Given that, tourism officials are hoping that the Boring Co.’s proposed underground transportation system known as the Vegas Loop could be a game-changer.

The Vegas Loop would run from downtown Las Vegas through the resort corridor to Allegiant Stadium and eventually McCarran International Airport.

However, plans to get started on the proposed 15-mile dual-tunnel system have yet to be submitted to either Clark County or the city of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz said last week that there wasn’t an update available on when work in the downtown area could occur, noting that Boring has yet to submit plans for permitting.

Clark County echoed that, with spokesman Erik Pappa saying that Boring has yet to submit plans for construction on a stretch that would run south of the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue.

Boring’s first commercial project, the $55.2 million Las Vegas Convention Center Loop, has been open for a little more than a month, having gone live at the World of Concrete show at the beginning of June. The 0.8-mile system features various Tesla model vehicles that travel about 35 mph, transporting riders among three stops that link convention halls.

Work on the next scheduled stop, Resorts World, should be underway soon.

Boring has its equipment, including its new boring machine dubbed “Prufrock,” on site at Resorts World, where a o.3-mile tunnel loop system will connect the mega resort with the convention center.

Boring notes on its website that Prufrock is “designed to construct mega-infrastructure projects in a matter of weeks instead of years.” Part of that is because Prufrock has the ability to begin tunneling above ground within 48 hours of its arrival on a site; it doesn’t require a pre-dug pit to launch and retrieve the machine at both ends of a tunnel, as was the case for the Convention Center Loop.

Prufrock also can bore tunnels up to six times faster than the machine used at the convention center site. For reference, it took about three months to dig the first of the two convention center tunnels.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Steve Hill said work on that convention center loop extension is expected to begin soon.

“They have not started mining yet,” Hill said. “The equipment is there. They’re working through the final building permit. As soon as they get the building permit done they’ll get started.”

Resorts World didn’t respond to multiple inquires about the planned station, but resort spokeswoman Joslyn Garcia told the Review-Journal ahead of the resort’s June 24 grand opening that it was expected the system would be “open and begin servicing conventions later this summer.”

The ultimate goal, however, is constructing the Vegas Loop. Though plans for the proposed underground transportation system have not been filed with the county or city, Hill still believes some of the planned Vegas Loop will be done and operational in the near future.

“Maybe not the entire system, but legs of that system up and running in the next couple of years would be great,” Hill said.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter. Send questions and comments to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com.

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