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US Seeks Contractors for Border Wall

Thursday, March 2, 2017

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The federal government has begun the process of soliciting contractors for the design and construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico, a pillar of President Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign.

According to reports, U.S. Customs and Border Protection posted a “pre-solicitation” Friday (Feb. 24), indicating that it plans to request bids for the design-build contract for “prototype wall structures” on March 6, with concept papers outlining the design and process due March 10. The list of contenders will be narrowed down later in March before a request for more specific proposals, with contracts issued as early as mid-April.

Contractors Lining Up

The Hill reported Tuesday (Feb. 28) that more than 200 companies have already expressed interest in the job. The exact scale of the wall or walls to be built in this early phase is unclear; the pre-solicitation refers only to prototype structures “in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico.”

President Trump
Michael Vadon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The federal government has begun the process of soliciting contractors for the design and construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico, a pillar of President Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The posting also notes that “an option for additional miles may be included in each contract award.”

During the campaign, Trump said the wall would stand 35 to 40 feet tall, constructed of precast concrete. After the election, he said that he would accept fencing in some areas. The U.S.-Mexico border stretches nearly 2,000 miles, with about 670 miles currently divided by fencing, much of which was built after a 2006 authorization.

Cost Questions

In early February, Reuters acquired a report from the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Customs and Border Protection, which predicted the entirety of the walls and fences that would make up a border barrier would cost up to $21.6 billion and take more than three years to build. That plan indicated that the building of the wall would occur in three phases.

Border  fence in Arizona
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S.-Mexico border stretches nearly 2,000 miles, with about 670 miles currently divided by fencing, much of which was built after a 2006 authorization.

At the time of that report, Trump said he had not been directly involved in the planning, and predicted that costs would come down when he stepped into the process. He had previously predicted an overall cost of about $12 billion.

Who Will Pay?

Trump has long held that Mexico will pay for the wall; on Wednesday (March 1), Vice President Mike Pence echoed that sentiment in an interview with ABC. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has said his country would not bankroll the project.

The Trump administration has not indicated exactly how Mexico will be compelled to reimburse the U.S. for the cost of design and construction, but methods that have been discussed include increased visa costs, tariffs or pressuring the Mexican government by either decreasing visa quantities or preventing Mexican nationals from wiring money home from the United States.

   

Tagged categories: Bidding; concrete; Contractors; Contracts; Design build; Government; Government contracts; North America; President Trump; Program/Project Management

Comment from Thomas Van Hooser, (3/2/2017, 8:26 AM)

Make America Great Again!!!


Comment from Raymond Dixon, (3/3/2017, 5:22 AM)

What a great project from a President with insight, I wish he was Australian


Comment from Alfredo Claussen, (3/6/2017, 2:04 PM)

Every time I read some news where people from the USA state that "they will make America Great Again" , I find the same kind of mistaken attitudes and nonsense: First: The USA is NOT America, but only the Northern part of it. Second: How the Hell will "America" be "greater" if they plan to over expend so much in armaments and walls, for useless purposes (unless they plan to invade other countries and become the bully of the world) then I can't see how that could be understood as "making it greater". Third: during my 38+ years working at my job, I have met MANY great engineers that work in the USA... But sincerely, many of them WEREN'T North Americans, but immigrants from Asia, Europe and MANY other countries. Just make a poll on how many GOOD, top engineers came from other countries and you would be surprised... then how the F*ck will expatriating every foreign-origin engineer or trained professional will help in "Making America (SIC) great again? In my many years working together with engineers from companies in the USA, I've made many friends, in spite of their companies not always behaving in an ethical manner, nevertheless, we always ended up working together in an harmonious way by following the strict science and technology principles, but with their present president, some (North)Americans seem lost, completely lost.


Comment from Jim Johnson, (3/6/2017, 4:34 PM)

A wall is not a choice, it is a MUST. When you have a country with no borders you have no country, it is that simple. I believe they could generate a better project if they would only allow a contractor 9 months to finish their portion of the work. Use numerous contractors and let them all have a piece of the project and complete it within a year. The longer it drags on the more it will cost and it will be just that much longer to a secure USA.


Comment from Alfredo Claussen, (3/7/2017, 9:45 PM)

Then, by your brilliant reasoning, if the southern border is solidly constructed, then you will have one half of a country, since it will still lack a northern Wall at Canada... Congratulations, you still have no complete country (and quite a bit less money to rebuild its crumbling infrastructure).


Comment from Andrew Piedl, (3/8/2017, 10:36 AM)

My parents were lucky enough to grow up in a country with REAL borders... they used to call it something like 'iron curtain'...


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