By Mary Hladky
Mayor Scott Singer is hitting the pause button on his idea to bring in Elon Musk’s The Boring Co. to build underground tunnels to transport people around town.
Singer first raised the possibility in May as Miami Mayor Frank Suarez and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis were expressing enthusiasm for Musk’s tunnels that would be navigated by cars.
He suggested that The Boring Co. could build a tunnel from the Brightline station, now under construction east of the Downtown Library, to Mizner Park. Boring officials estimated the cost at $10 million to $15 million, Singer said at the time.
He also envisioned a second tunnel that would connect to the Town Center Mall, with stops along the way.
The idea landed on the back burner as more pressing matters arose.
But at a Jan. 10 meeting, Singer said he had rethought the matter. He no longer thinks a tunnel to Mizner Park makes sense.
“It will be challenging for pedestrians to want to feel comfortable to cross below grade and for us to make sure it is a safe and welcoming thoroughfare,” he said.
A tunnel to the mall remains a possibility, he said.
For now, Singer suggested to fellow Boca Raton City Council members that they wait to see what deal Fort Lauderdale reaches with Musk’s company so they can better evaluate costs and financing for such a project.
The Boring Co. submitted a plan to Fort Lauderdale in June for tunnels to and from the beach. Officials more recently were fine-tuning the plan and the city’s Public Works Department was to hire consultants to collaborate with Boring, the Sun Sentinel has reported.
In the meantime, Singer said he would continue to discuss the idea with stakeholders.