Boring Test Tunnel

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Boring test tunnel
Reinventing Boring (44544295190).jpg
Other name(s)Hawthorne test tunnel
LocationHawthorne, California
RouteWest 120th Street
StartSpaceX car park
No. of stations3
Work begun17 December 2016
Opens18 December 2018 (2018-12-18)
OperatorThe Boring Company
CharacterLimited Access
Length1.83 km
(1.14 mi; 6,000 ft)[1]
No. of lanes1
Operating speed205 km/h (127 mph)[2]
Width3.8 metres (12.5 ft)

The Boring Test Tunnel is a test tunnel in Hawthorne, California, United States that was completed by The Boring Company in late 2018. The single-bore tunnel was constructed during 2017‒2018 using a 4.2-metre (14 ft) diameter tunnel boring machine, giving a finished 3.8-metre (12 ft) internal diameter.


Boring Test Tunnel
Hawthorne Boulevard
Permitted extension (not built)
4012 West 120th Street
12003 Prairie Avenue
/ Exit
Prairie Avenue
3834 West 119th Place
Spur/Test elevator
/ Garage
SpaceX factory
SpaceX entrance shaft

Most of the route runs outside and set back from the perimeter of Hawthorne Municipal Airport, with a very short section under the corner of the airport fence, without going under the runway.[3]

The tunnel starts between the Dominguez Channel storm drain and Crenshaw Boulevard at an entrance pit constructed on car park land owned by SpaceX. A short straight section heading northwards is followed by a 530-foot-radius (161.5 m) curve westwards under West 120th Street, then a long straight tunnel, a slight curve and a final short straight to the Exit Shaft. The midpoint of the tunnel is planned to connect with a very short northwards spur to a small car parking system-style car elevator leading up inside a residential garage behind a house at 3834 West 119th Place.[4]


On 17 December 2016, Elon Musk stated that he was frustrated with traffic jams, and would start building a tunnel.[5] By April 2017, The Boring Company had obtained a second-hand tunnel boring machine, transported the machine to Hawthorne, and had it repainted in Boring Company colours.[6]

On 31 January 2018, the Boring Company acquired the land around a family house at 3834 West 119th Place for $500,000.[7] On 9 May 2018, the Boring Company acquired land on the corner of West 120th and Prairie Avenue for $2 million, purchasing the corner plots 309 and 308 at 12007 Prairie Avenue[8] and Plots 304‒307 behind.[9]

On 5 October 2018, the Hawthorne City Council granted an easement for up to 2,600 metres (8,600 ft) of tunnel, in exchange for a structural encroachment fee of $2.5 million. Permission for the first 210 metres (700 ft) of tunnel under SpaceX's own land had been obtained earlier.[10]

On 17 October 2018, in preparation for opening "The Brick Store", the company applied for permission to paint the building at 12003 Prairie Avenue in The Boring Company black-and-white corporate colours.[11]

An opening ceremony for the test tunnel was originally scheduled for 10 December 2018,[12] then moved to 18 December 2018.[13]


During the launch day on 18 December 2018, cars operated using guided busway-style side-facing guide wheels. This fleet of Tesla Model X vehicles travelled at up to 65 kilometres per hour (40 mph).


  1. ^ Lopatto, Elizabeth (19 December 2018). "I took a ride through Elon Musk's new tunnel in California". Retrieved 19 December 2018. top speed is 40 miles per hour … 1.14 mile tunnel … one-mile test tunnel … year and a half to complete, … about $10 million, not counting research and development
  2. ^ Hawkins, Andrew (24 May 2019). "Elon Musk's Boring Company staged a race between a Tesla in a tunnel and one on the road". Retrieved 15 June 2019. the Tesla in the tunnel hit a maximum speed of 127 mph
  3. ^ Shadbehr, Arnold; Miyahira, Russ (22 August 2017). Agenda Item No. 6 (Report). Agenda Bill. City of Hawthorne City Council. p. 42. strip of land 15 feet (4.6 m) wide … beginning of a non-tangent curve concave south westerly and having a radius of 530.00 feet (161.5 m) … 13.56 feet (4 m) southerly of the 120th Street centerline … thence tangent to said curve … parallel with and distant southerly a distance of 7,721.21 feet (2,350 m) to a point of terminus
  4. ^ Shadbehr, Arnold; James, Brian; Planning & Community Development (11 September 2018). Agenda Item No. 9 (Planning report) (Report). Agenda Bill. City of Hawthorne City Council.
  5. ^ Musk, Elon [@elonmusk] (17 December 2016). "Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  6. ^ Muoio, Danielle (27 April 2017). "We just got our first glimpse of Elon Musk's new tunnel company". Business News.
  7. ^ Parcel detail: 4048-011-032. Assessor Portal (Report). Los Angeles County. 31 January 2018. 3834 W 119TH PL Hawthorne CA 90250-3226 … TR=2603 E 60 FT EX OF ST of Lot 822 … Doc # 0104467 … DTT Sale Price: $485,004
  8. ^ Parcel detail: 4046-008-027. Assessor Portal (Report). Los Angeles County. 9 May 2018. 12007 Prairie Ave, Hawthorne CA 90250-3107 … Corner Lot: Yes … *TR=Second add to Hawthorne*(ex of st) Lot 308 and (ex of sts) Lot 309 … Doc # 0456481 … DTT Sale Price: $1,995,019
  9. ^ Parcel detail: 4046-008-028. Assessor Portal (Report). Los Angeles County. 9 May 2018. 4012 W 120th St, Hawthorne CA 90250-3107 … Corner Lot: No … M B 9-160 ex of st Lots 304 Thru 307 … Doc # 0456481 … DTT Sale Price: $1,995,019
  10. ^ Huber, Norbert (5 October 2017). Minutes of a Special Meeting of the City Council (PDF) (Report). City of Hawthorne.
  11. ^ James, Brian; Palmer, Christopher (October 17, 2018). Administrative Color Approval – The Brick Store (staff report) (Report). Hawthorne Planning Commission. Project Location: 12003 Prairie Avenue (APN # 4046-008-027) … Project Applicant: The Boring Company
  12. ^ Brackett, Ed (22 October 2018). "Rapid-transit test tunnel under LA will open to the public on December 10, Elon Musk says". CNBC.
  13. ^ The Boring Company [@boringcompany] (6 December 2018). "Tunnel opening now set for . Need another few days to finish the snail habitat. More details soon!" (Tweet). Retrieved 13 December 2018 – via Twitter.

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