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Government Agency Awards Border Wall Contract

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, announced earlier this month the award of a $145 million contract to build a section of border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.

The contract went to Galveston, Texas-based SLSCO Ltd. for the construction of a 6-mile border-levee wall system, which has been dubbed “tactical infrastructure.”

Border Wall History

In September 2017, the first border wall contracts were awarded to four different companies to develop prototypes that would work in conjunction with the border in the San Diego area. In January of this year, 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.

Since then, the government has worked to speed up the project. In March, Judge Gonzalo Curiel ruled that the Department of Homeland Security was not overstepping its bounds by expediting border wall construction and waiving environmental rules in the process. The suit had threatened to stall work in Calexico, where a stretch of fence is being replaced, and to delay the larger border-wall project.

In October, Homeland Security announced that any environmental regulations regarding the construction or repair of a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall for certain areas in Texas would be waived, drawing ire from environmentalists and private property owners alike. The announcement, made Oct. 10 on the Federal Register, detailed exemptions in Cameron County; another announcement made the following day detailed similar measures for Hidalgo County.  

Border Wall Contract

Plans for this section of border wall include 18-foot-tall steel bollards on top of the concrete wall; vegetation removal within a 150-foot enforcement zone that will run along the levee wall; the construction of a patrol road next to the structure; and the installation of detection and surveillance systems. The project falls within the control of CPB’s McAllen Station, the extent of which includes 53 miles of border along the Rio Grande River.

According to CBS, this project marks the first section of President Trump’s border wall in the Rio Grande valley, which is known for being a busy illegal crossing point: The Border Patrol reported 137,000 immigration arrests In the Rio Grande sector last year.

In June, SLSCO also began work on a $147 million contract for the replacement of 14 miles of 8- to-10-foot-tall bollard-styled wall system, located in San Diego.

Construction on the new border wall is slated to begin in February 2019. Funding for the project stemmed from CPB’s fiscal year 2018 appropriation.

   

Tagged categories: Contract awards; Government; Government contracts; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management

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