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Another $305M in Border Wall Contracts Awarded

Friday, August 23, 2019

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Work on sections of the U.S.-Mexico border wall continues to progress with the recent award of $305 million in contracts. The work is to take place along the border in Texas.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, working in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, awarded the contract for the construction of 11 miles of levee wall, to be built in “three, non-contiguous segments,” according to a press release from CBP.

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. 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 October 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that any environmental regulations regarding the construction or repair of a section of the border wall for certain areas in Texas would be waived, drawing ire from environmentalists and private property owners alike. The announcement detailed exemptions in Cameron County; another announcement made the following day detailed similar measures for Hidalgo County.

tzahiV / Getty Images

Work on sections of the U.S.-Mexico border wall continues to progress with the recent award of $305 million in contracts. The work is to take place along the border in Texas.

And 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 President Donald J. Trump last March, were susceptible to breaching. Several million in other contracts for other border wall work had also been awarded elsewhere. In March, the border wall prototypes were demolished.

Toward the end of May, a judge blocked Trump’s use of money originally intended for military funding, for work on the border wall. The injunction only accounted for roughly $1 billion in funding for the border wall, money that the Department of Defense had funneled away from Army personnel to the Department of Homeland Security.

In July, over a week after a federal judge blocked the Trump administration from using $2.5 billion in funding for the border wall, CBP and the Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $33 million contract for four miles of border wall work in Texas. Environmental regulations for that section of structure were also waived.

Recent Contract Awards

The most recent contract amount initially totaled $80.8 million, but with options totaling $304.6 million, with construction focusing on areas where no barriers are currently in place. The system to be used will be similar to other levee systems used in the Rio Grande Valley area in 2008. Other technology to also includes all-weather roads, lighting, enforcement cameras and other technology needed for the development of an enforcement area.

The sections of wall, which will be funded by CBP’s fiscal 2019 appropriation, will feature steel bollards that stand at a minimum of 18 feet tall, “atop a concrete wall to the height of the existing flood levee,” noted CBP. The work was awarded to Southwest Valley Constructors.

The border wall will not be built in the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, La Lomita Historical Park, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge or the National Butterfly Center.

Also, in late July, CBP awarded a 2017-funded contract for the construction of 25 border wall gates in the Rio Grande Valley sector, and construction is slated to begin at the end of September.

   

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

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