Florida Construction News staff writer
Fort Lauderdale’s city commission took a critical step this week toward building the Las Olas Loop, an underground transportation network. Using dedicated electric vehicles, passengers would travel between downtown and the beach within the Loop, avoiding road traffic and the need to find parking.
The Commission approved an interim agreement with Elon Musk’s The Boring Company on June 14, authorizing the firm to proceed with feasibility studies.
Information from these studies will be used to design the loop’s alignment and stations and determine the cost to move forward through construction and into operation and maintenance. Following completion of the studies, the City Commission will decide whether to negotiate a comprehensive agreement with The Boring Company.
Tuesday’s decision is the next step in the process that began in June 2021 when the City of Fort Lauderdale received an unsolicited proposal from Musk’s company to design and build an underground, high-capacity, clean transit system.
“The Las Olas Loop is an innovative, cutting-edge solution to help address the City’s long-term transportation needs and ease congestion,” said Mayor Dean J. Trantalis. “People headed to the beach on a holiday weekend or during a big event like the Boat Show will be able to get there quickly and hassle-free. We are thinking outside the box to build a city of the future.”
BC proposes to build Las Olas Loop, an approximately 2.4 to 2.7-mile underground Loop transportation system with two or three stations that would connect downtown Fort Lauderdale with Fort Lauderdale Beach. The proposed tunnel project could either be a single or dualtunnel transportation system.
Compared to surface transportation systems, the underground system offers reduced cost, less surface disruption during construction and operations, fewer right-of-way acquisitions, and faster construction time. When complete, a one-way trip between downtown Fort Lauderdale and Fort Lauderdale Beach would move passengers at average speeds of approximately 50 mph and take about three minutes, Steve Davis company president wrote in his proposal.