The city of Hawthorne in south LA County is just six square miles. Located between the 105 and 405 freeways, you'd be forgiven for not knowing exactly where it is.
For a lot of people, it's the area they pass through on their way to Los Angeles International Airport. But someday it might be a place they also pass under.
Over the weekend, Elon Musk tweeted a picture of the LA tunnel he's building under the city of Hawthorne with his Boring Company. No further details were revealed, so Take Two reached out to Hawthorne Mayor Alex Vargas for more information.
Why Hawthorne approved the tunnel project
Elon Musk and his different companies are based in the city of Hawthorne, his design centers and the construction facility for the rockets. There's a lot of synergy that's taking place in the city of Hawthorne, and Elon Musk's operations are crucial to that. The Boring Company's idea to take us to the next stage, the next level of transport within the city to alleviate a lot of the problems we have. So to us it sounded like a worthy cause to support.
Elon Musk has been talking about having this in New York and Maryland, but he has to test it out, so he's using his locale and part of Hawthorne's subterranean area to be able to test out his tunnel system so that's what we've been working with him on.
Where is the tunnel exactly
It's all within Hawthorne's boundaries. Part of the tunnel was started under his property, but he needed to get permission from the city of Hawthorne to run it under the city It is basically going underneath 120th Street from Crenshaw Blvd. all the way to Hawthorne Blvd. He's first going to start working on the 700 foot piece and then he'll determine if he's going to want to go further.
Why the tunnel is needed
As Elon Musk has mentioned, he wants to test out this transport system. There's an elevator system where he brings down the different vehicles that he's wanting to transport along the track, so future details with regards to speed and what kind of goals he's trying to meet, ultimately he's going to have to answer that, [but] the general idea is basically a transportation system for cars and vehicles on what he's calling skates, traveling along the rail.
Can a tunnel system alleviate traffic
Absolutely. The metropolitan area here in our area is pretty congested. It's built out, so the natural next step to look at is why don't we go below ground where there's a lot of opportunity to go every which way with your transportation network, so to me it seemed like a natural direction in which to go. It makes a lot of sense to me.
Why Hawthorne is becoming a tech hub
One of the things a lot of people might not remember is we were the home of Northrop. So we were the birthplace of aerospace along with a couple of other locations here in the South Bay of metropolitan Los Angeles, so it's just a natural succession.