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US Border Wall Plans Move Forward

Thursday, December 6, 2018

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Late last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the beginning of construction of a series of border wall gates in the Rio Grand Valley sector. A judge also ruled earlier this week that President Donald J. Trump’s administration was clear to move forward with construction of replacement fence and several border-wall prototypes.

Gideon Contracting, based out of San Antonio, Texas, will be responsible for building the automated border wall gates where there are gaps in an already-standing pedestrian wall.

Border Wall Recap

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 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.

tzahiV / Getty Images

Late last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the beginning of construction of a series of border wall gates in the Rio Grand Valley sector. A judge also ruled earlier this week that President Donald J. Trump’s administration was clear to move forward with construction of replacement fence and several border-wall prototypes.

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. Otherwise, several hundred million in border wall contracts have been awarded to date.

Border Wall Gates

The $3,731,380 contract for seven base gates was awarded to Gideon Contracting in early October. The contract also includes an option for four additional gates, valued at $1,985,525. Construction began late last month.

According to the agency, the project includes the installation of 35 automated border wall gates and site improvements along gaps in the existing pedestrian wall. The gates, to be located off the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission levee, are within the area of responsibility for the Fort Brown, Brownsville and Harlingen Border patrol stations within Cameron County, Texas.

Judge Ruling

As for the environmental regulations being waived, the Supreme Court reportedly refused to hear the case. Judge Curiel issued a ruling from justices last month rejecting the legal challenge to the waiver, citing the waiver was a legitimate way to “avoid delays caused by lawsuits challenging the construction of barriers."

Work can now proceed on a 14-mile fence; the structure will run east from the Pacific Ocean to a complete fence in Calexico, California, standing as tall as 30 feet in certain sections.

   

Tagged categories: Contract awards; Government; Government contracts; Project Management

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