Young Ambrose, who lives in Bastrop County, speaks to Kyle City Council on May 3 about his experiences with The Boring Company.

Basrup Man’s Wars With The Boring Company Elon Musk

yJust after 7 p.m. on May 3, a tall, bearded man in a white Stetson walked into the microphone in front of Kyle City Council and rattled his guts about Elon Musk and his company’s boring forays into Texas. On that day, the company wanted a professional services contract approved to construct a $3 million railroad pedestrian tunnel to connect with Kyle’s Vybe track system.

“I can tell you with some confidence that I have more experience negotiating with The Boring Company than anyone in this room,” he said, choking, his voice chopping. “They made promises about light pollution, noise, truck traffic, and fiber-optic internet, but one year later they haven’t kept any of those promises.”

A year ago, The Boring Company became a neighbor of Chap Ambrose, and today, he’s reporting to the citizens of the suburb south of Austin about his epic as a warning. But Ambrose is not from Kyle. He lives over 40 miles northeast of Bastrop County. And since May 2021, he has been in a long battle with Elon Musk’s $5.7 billion company, which wants to ease traffic by digging tunnels under cities.

Young Ambrose, who lives in Bastrop County, speaks to Kyle City Council on May 3 about his experiences with The Boring Company.

Young Ambrose, who lives in Bastrop County, speaks to Kyle City Council on May 3 about his experiences with The Boring Company.

Youtube

Ironically, the presence of Boring apparently caused traffic problems on FM 1209, including multiple daily accidents and jams on the state road after it placed a then-unauthorized lane on the property. When I visit Ambrose on a sunny April morning, there are several minutes of congestion on the 60mph road. He takes photos and videos of everything he sees, and it impresses that he’s a potential Boring Company employee – he doesn’t know, because the process is somewhat secretive – on a Tesla as he speeds away.

Ambrose is worn out from his day stay on his orange tractor down the hill on Walker Watson Road, next to FM 1209, and documents the grievances he feels in his small town. His daughter is tired of him talking about it: the bumper stickers, the drone footage of the facility, the billboard he bought with “Keep Bassrup Boring” on it, everything. But Ambrose will still fight, although he succumbed to his fate.

“They made promises about light pollution, noise, truck traffic, and fiber-optic internet, but one year later they haven’t kept any of those promises.”

“He has all the resources, and I’ll make sure to do it legally, but I think he’ll make his way here,” he said in late April, of the world’s richest man. “However, on the next point, I want people to just be aware of what agencies are out there, what they can do, and how they are informed.”

Regardless of Ambrose’s poignant testimony, the contract was approved at the end of the session.

Elon Musk's Boring Company aims to ease traffic by digging tunnels under towns.  The company has a presence throughout Central Texas, including headquarters in Pflugerville, a test site in Bastrop County, and a project in Kyle.

Elon Musk’s Boring Company aims to ease traffic by digging tunnels under towns. The company has a presence throughout Central Texas, including headquarters in Pflugerville, a test site in Bastrop County, and a project in Kyle.

Robin Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Musk in Texas

HEarlier this spring, KVUE posted a story on its website with the following headline: “Elon Musk’s Boring Company Looks to Develop in Town Near Austin.”


The announcement may leave even the most ardent reader of Central Texas news puzzled. Any one? The new owner of Twitter is probably—maybe not—is ubiquitous in Texas these days, and his tunneling company alone does business (or is trying) at at least three Austin locations: the headquarters in Pflugerville, the testing site in Bastrop County, and now Kyle.

To say that Musk’s presence in Texas – the Cyber ​​Rodeo in Giga Texas, and his space race project in Boca Chica – is divisive.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Austin Mayor Steve Adler Musk called for Twitter to be moved to Central Texas from opposite sides of the lane. But environmental groups and local residents have rejected SpaceX’s South Texas location. A Brownsville woman painted “Upgrade” and “Stop SpaceX” on a musk mural, after which the mayor posted her photo to Facebook.

Ambrose is personally conflicted, mainly because he is an ardent fan of Elon Musk. He had a $200 down payment made to Tesla for the Cybertruck for years, and before his wife asked him to cancel it, he got a second down payment on a Tesla Model 3 while waiting for the Mad Max-looking car.

The Boring Company entrance on Walker Watson Road.

The Boring Company entrance on Walker Watson Road.

Chris O’Connell / Maisa

Ambrose is also not anti-development, something he mentioned at council meetings both in Kyle and in Bastrop County. But the way Ambrose says The Boring Company ignored even minimal restrictions – and then intimidated the local government after its arrest – is his problem. Permitting, he says, is a kind of “honour system,” as long as all is well.

Young Ambrose in front of a billboard for the Keep Basrup Boring he bought in April.

Young Ambrose in front of a billboard for the Keep Basrup Boring he bought in April.

Elsa Walker

“This only works when everyone is respectful,” Ambrose says. “And these guys, that’s not the value I’ve seen living in my experience with them.”

Ambrose recorded the Bastrop County Court of Commissioners meeting on February 28 of this year for the podcast he created outlining his struggles called Keep Basrup Boring. On the agenda that day was a proposal by The Boring Company to build an 80,000 square foot complex for the employees of The Boring Company.

At the meeting, a local woman named Lynne Snyder Collier spoke about her emotional conflict with The Boring Company. Her family has owned property on Walker Watson Road for 55 years, and she has made clear her concerns about Musk – who she said could be considered “genius”, “stupid and evil” – and his company’s reluctance to fit in with the area’s rural environment. She points to a large chain-link fence that she says the company promised not to build, shedding leaves on the road, and the aesthetics of the land, which she compared to “inner city Detroit.” She also mentioned light pollution, a concern she shares with Ambrose, who also spoke.

Ambrose, who made the Boring Company investigation a second full-time job, also raised traffic concerns and potential water problems.

At the meeting—and during our interview—he said that The Boring Company had an illegal rot system and that when they moved six homes onto the property for employees and their families, they were tied up in city waters when the rest of the area used wells. He said he doesn’t feel safe taking his kids to get the mail on a traffic-congested state road anymore, and that he’s constantly being delayed by the support of 18 wheels, coming and going.

Ambrose, who at this point had pulled thousands of pages of public documents and plans for The Boring Company, became emotional when he pleaded with the court to take another look before deciding on the permit. After thanking him for bringing their attention to detail, The Boring Company’s proposal for a permit was made, giving Ambrose cause to celebrate even if he knew what the end result would be.

Ambrose sees daily traffic reserve on FM 1209.

Ambrose sees daily traffic reserve on FM 1209.

Chris O’Connell / Maisa

Won’t you be my neighbor?

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