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Construction Begins on CA Border Wall

Monday, February 26, 2018

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Construction for the replacement of the El Centro Sector wall in California has begun, marking the first border wall contract awarded by the U.S. government after the eight prototypes that were built last year.

According to the Associated Press, Customs and Border Protection is aiming to replace a little more than 2 miles of wall in Calexico. The original barrier, built in the 1990s out of recycled metal and landing mat, will be torn down and replaced with 30-foot-high bollard-style barriers.

Border Wall Construction

Nebraska-based SWF Contractors won the $18 million contract to replace the wall in Calexico. The area includes a space bisected by the New River, which is known for smugglers acting as guides for people through the water. According to Customs and Border Protection, smuggling organizations have damaged and breached this segment of wall several hundred times over the last two years, resulting in reportedly costly repairs.

The project includes a bridge over the river, and is expected to take 300 days to complete.

Tony Webster, CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Both major environmental advocacy groups and the state of California have sued the administration over the waivers, citing an expiration of authority. (Pictured: The border wall just south of San Diego.)

In September, the current administration cleared the way for construction by waiving dozens of reviews in Calexico. In the same vein, a 2005 law exempted the area from environmental reviews if the secretary of Homeland Security deemed a wall to be of national security interest.

Both major environmental advocacy groups and the state of California have sued the administration over the waivers, citing an expiration of authority. U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel is expected to rule soon as to whether or not the lawsuit will be allowed to proceed.

Wall Prototypes

Last year, CBP solicited proposals from contractors and awarded eight contracts for prototype segments of wall between 18 and 30 feet high, to serve as models for a potential wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border, as touted by President Donald J. Trump during his campaign and after taking office.

Eight designs—four made from concrete, and four from alternative materials—were chosen for the prototype phase, and each prototype wall was to be between 18 to 30 feet high.

The contracts were reportedly valued in the $400,000 to $500,000 range.

U.S. special forces spent weeks attempting to breach the eight prototype models of the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, and the test walls held up to tests with jackhammers, torches and climbing tools.


Tagged categories: concrete; Government; Government contracts; Infrastructure; NA; North America; President Trump; Program/Project Management; Steel

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