The U.S. Government plans a 30-foot-high solid concrete border wall that “looks good from the north side,” and is difficult to climb or cut through, according to contract notices issued by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) late last week.
One of the CBP contract requests calls for a solid concrete wall, while the other asks for proposals for a see-through structure.
Both require the wall to be sunk at least six feet into the ground and to include 25- and 50-foot automated gates for pedestrians and vehicles.
The proposed wall must also be built in a such a way that it would take at least an hour to cut through it with a “sledgehammer, car jack, pick axe, chisel, battery operated impact tools, battery operated cutting tools, Oxy/acetylene torch or other similar hand-held tools.”
The government will award a contract based on 30-foot-wide sample walls that are to be built in San Diego.
This is the latest step in the Trump administration plan to build a border wall. Last month CBP put out a call for “concept papers” to design and build prototypes by March 10.
The government has not said where the wall will be built, though the contract notices suggest some pieces of a new wall could replace existing fencing that stretches over about 700 miles of the roughly 2,000-mile border.
The current fencing is of mixed construction, including 15-foot steel posts set inches apart that are designed to keep people from crossing and shorter posts that are intended to block cars. Border Patrol agents are constantly repairing holes in the structure.
Last week, Trump sent a budget proposal to Congress that included a $2.6 billion down payment for the wall. The total cost for the project is unclear, but the Government Accountability Office estimates it would cost about $6.5 million a mile for a fence to keep pedestrians from crossing the border, and about $1.8 million a mile for a vehicle barrier.
Congressional Republicans have said Trump’s wall would cost between $12 billion and $15 billion and Trump has suggested $12 billion.
That report proposed an initial phase that would extend fences 26 miles and a second wave that would add 151 miles, plus 272 “replacement” miles where fences are already installed, according to the official. Those two phases would cost $5 billion.
The Department of Homeland Security reported earlier this month that the number of border arrests dropped about 44 percent from January to February, the lowest monthly tallies since 2012.
The two notices were posted by the CBP on the Federal Business Opportunities website last week. Proposals must be handed in to the government by March 29.