Las Vegas Loop hits a downtown ticket and signs a pact with the city

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Las Vegas Loop won approval Wednesday to dig a tunnel through the city of Las Vegas, and the underground transportation system will connect the Strip to downtown.

Construction by the Boring Company – Elon Musk’s firm that has previously built tunnels at the Las Vegas Convention Center – is expected to begin early next year. Tesla Models X and Y are used in the tunnels.

A planned route map shows it connecting Sahara Avenue and the Strip, with a route under Las Vegas Boulevard, to Main Street and back to the STRAT. Five stations are planned to start:

  • Slotzilla
  • Fremont Street Experience
  • Mahal Garage (in Circa)
  • Plaza Hotel & Casino

While all of the initial stops are well-established tourist destinations, the city agreement also specifies “a mechanism for securing additional funding that could be used to fund civic stations in support of our downtown neighborhoods and any other civic tunnel/station expansions the city wishes,” mentioning the Arts District by name.

More than eight kilometers of tunnels will be dug, all at no cost to taxpayers, according to the city. The Boring Company has agreed to supply any unique firefighting or other equipment required to ensure the safety of the tunnels.

The Las Vegas section of the project will be added to a larger project in Clark County. In total, the Vegas Loop is expected to be a network of tunnels over 34 miles, eventually connecting downtown to UNLV, and possibly Harry Reid International Airport.

Planning fees, permits and inspections could net up to $2 million during the Las Vegas section of the loop, according to the city.

David H. Henry