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Nearly $1B in Border Wall Contracts Awarded

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced the awarding of $976 million in border wall contracts, marking the first projects paid for with funding connected to President Donald J. Trump’s declaration of a national emergency.

Galveston, Texas-based SLS Ltd., which has worked on other border wall contracts, won a $789 million contract for the replacement of barrier in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Bozeman, Montana-based Barnard Construction Co. also won a $187 million contract for pedestrian wall replacement in in Yuma, Arizona.

Border Wall Background

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. U.S. special forces spent weeks attempting to breach the eight prototype models of the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, which proved to withstand jackhammers, torches and climbing tools.

Since then, the government has worked to speed up the project. In March 2018, 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.

tzahiV / Getty Images

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced the awarding of $976 million in border wall contracts, marking the first projects paid for with funding that was appropriate under President Donald J. Trump’s declaration of a national emergency.

In October 2018, 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. In December 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the beginning of construction of a series of border wall gates in the Rio Grande Valley sector.

But in January, a report revealed that all eight border wall prototypes, inspected by Trump last March, were susceptible to breaching. Several million in other contracts for other border wall work have also been awarded elsewhere.

Earlier this year, the border wall prototypes were demolished. Last month, the CEO of the North Dakota-based contractor Fisher Sand and Gravel Company claimed the company could build 234 miles of the border wall for $1.4 billion, a fraction of the funding the president was requesting.

Recent Contract Awards

The barrier work in New Mexico being carried out by SLS Ltd. is slated for completion by Oct. 1, 2020. Barnard’s work, which is a design-bid-build construction project, is slated for completion by Sept. 30, 2020. (Barnard has also been awarded border wall contract work in the past.)

According to CBS News, six companies submitted bids for the contract SLS Ltd. wound up winning. Three bids were received for the second contract. Todd Semonite, head of the Army Corps of Engineers, noted that by the time December 2020 rolls around, the total amount of money put into the border wall endeavor would equate to around 450 miles worth of work. “That's probably about $8 billion, in total about 33 different projects," said Semonite.

Money for the work was drawn from funding the Pentagon funneled away from counter-narcotics programs, a move that can be completed without congressional approval.


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

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