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Elon Musk’s O’Hare tunnel could be dead in the water in light of Tuesday’s election

From left: Rahm Emanuel, Toni Preckwinkle, Lori Lightfoot, Elon Musk (Credit Getty, Facebook)

With the race for Chicago’s next mayor now in clearer focus, it looks like Elon Musk’s plans for high-speed, underground transit from downtown to O’Hare Airport could be dead in the water.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been an enthusiastic supporter of Musk’s visionl for the 17-mile underground tunnel that would significantly reduce the commute between Downtown and O’Hare. But neither of the remaining mayoral candidates, Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle, are on board with the project, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, said Musk’s pledge to self-fund the $1 billion project is unrealistic, while Cook County Board President Preckwinkle said she would put the project on “pause.” The two will face off April 2 in a runoff election to pick Emanuel’s successor.

Emanuel and Musk in June announced plans for the high-speed underground tunnel, but no concrete plans for the project have been approved. Chicago aldermen later flew to Los Angeles to ride Musk’s test tunnel, an experience that left officials with “a lot of questions.

The prospects for the tunnel project began to fade as the mayoral contest got underway, with a number of leading candidates — including Lightfoot and Preckwinkle — skeptical of its merits.

Lightfoot and Preckwinkle took the top two spots in the 14-way race for mayor. Neither candidate was a darling of the real estate industry, which instead opted to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign coffers of Bill Daley, Susana Mendoza and Gery Chico. [Chicago Tribune] — Joe Ward

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