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Proposals Would Ban Border Wall Builders

Friday, March 31, 2017

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Hundreds of contractors want to help build President Donald Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but doing so may risk their involvement in public building and transit projects, under newly introduced legislation.

State and municipal lawmakers are pushing to penalize companies who participate in the controversial project—a cornerstone of President Trump’s bid for presidency.

San Francisco
© / Kropic

San Francisco lawmakers have introduced measures to ban the city from contracting with companies working on the federal border wall project.

Specifically, in San Francisco, leaders have proposed legislation that bars the city from contracting with companies that bid to work on the wall. Berkeley and Oakland are weighing similar measures. Another California state measure would require pension funds to liquidate investments in any of the companies working on the wall.

“If they participate in something so harmful to California’s economy and environment as a wall, then we don’t want to do business with them,” California Sen. Ricardo Lara told Bloomberg.

A New York lawmaker also reportedly floated a bill that would ban that state from doing business with the companies working on the wall.

Lining Up for Border Work

However, more than 200 contractors, both large firms and small, family-owned businesses, are interested in submitting plans to help design and build the border wall, reports say, citing Those firms include Hensel Phelps Construction Co. and Tutor Perini Corp., both of which have lucrative contracts with San Francisco, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

R.E. Staite Engineering Inc., one California-based contractor preparing to bid, told Bloomberg that it was familiar with projects that evoke strong feelings. The company said it was involved in Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup in Alaska and building a wharf for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

The Associated General Contractors of America said Wednesday (March 29) that such proposals to punish companies for performing lawful work for the federal government is “discriminatory and obstructive,” warning that federal courts would strike such measures down, according to a press release.

Federal policy disagreements should not punish employers and their workers, Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's CEO argued. “The good men and women of the construction industry are entitled to pursue their livelihoods as fully and freely as anyone else, without being drawn into disputes that are not of their making; they are not pawns,” Sandherr said.

Seeking Prototypes

On March 17, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection released two Requests for Proposals to award multiple contracts and initial task orders for the design and construction of wall prototypes. Those documents can be viewed here and here.

© / Rex_Wholster

The federal government has requested proposals for prototype designs, or phase I of the project. The deadline for bids is April 4.

The agency called for designs for a wall “physically imposing in height” to be built across the almost 2,000-mile border. The agency also requests the wall be able to withstand torches and sledgehammers as well as be “aesthetically pleasing” on its U.S.-facing side. It also must be able to prevent the construction of tunnels at least 6 feet underground.

The original deadline for potential bidders was Wednesday (March 29), but officials extended that date to April 4 in order to give the agency time to answer questions that companies had prior to Wednesday.

Ultimately, several 30-foot-long prototypes are to be built in San Diego and the federal government will award the contract based on those installations.

Meanwhile, the cost of the wall and who will pay for it continue to be subjects of debate.


Tagged categories: Associated General Contractors (AGC); Bidding; Good Technical Practice; Government; Government contracts; Public Buildings; Public Transit

Comment from Scott Birch, (3/31/2017, 5:32 AM)

How about an immigration policy that allows migratory workers to enter legally, work, pay taxes, etc. We have a tremendous labor shortage in the USA and it is rapidly deteriorating.

Comment from john lienert, (3/31/2017, 7:58 AM)

we had ALL of That before Caesar Chavez decided to step on everybodys' grapes

Comment from Jesse Melton, (3/31/2017, 11:26 AM)

Six feet isn't deep enough for real protection from sappers and smugglers. The Feds know it too. This whole feel good exercise is just stupid.

The Chinese built a wall to keep out the Mongols. The Israelis built a wall to keep out exploding zealots. We're building a wall to keep out landscapers and harvesters. It's so very embarrassing that we're afraid of gardeners.

It really makes me wonder if we should start disarming the populace. People afraid of lawn mower operators should not be allowed to have guns.

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