Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2016
When Elon Musk posted this Tweet early on a Saturday morning back in December, the Interwebs went wild. There was all sorts of speculation that Elon was starting a new business and that it had something to do with habitats on Mars. Or that he was venting while stuck in traffic on one of LA’s notoriously clogged arteries.
As I reported at the time, all of that speculation was dead wrong. The tweets had nothing to do with any of that stuff.
I learned from a source that Musk was tweeting three hours after three female SpaceX employees were hit by a car that ran a red light while crossing the street outside of SpaceX headquarters. All three victims ended up in the hospital, but they survived.
The source told me the company had been working on trying to build a tunnel under busy Crenshaw Boulevard to prevent such incidents. Musk’s handling of the accident was upsetting and heartless, the source said.
Musk never tweeted about the accident, expressed any public sympathy for the three injured women, or sought the public’s help in finding the hit-and-run driver who nearly killed his employees. Nor did he do anything to correct all the erroneous media speculation that kept the public spotlight on himself and his mysterious new venture.
As it turned out, the source was right about the tunnel. The Daily Breeze has a story today about SpaceX’s plans to build a tunnel under Crenshaw Boulevard where the employees were hit by the car. Construction is set to start in about a month.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Musk project without much grander ambitions. His ultimate goal is to tunnel under the freeway and create a direct route to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Of course, that would be a much bigger project than building a tunnel under a street, would stretch out over many years, and multiple government agencies. So, who knows whether it will ever get built. SpaceX has a lot of other higher priorities than cutting travel time to LAX.