The first prototypes for the “Trump Border Wall” with Mexico will be built and tested within the next eight weeks, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced.
An image of one of the border wall proposals released along with announcement this week.
The DHS has announced that it had selected four vendors to build prototypes of their proposed concrete walls in the San Diego area. Up to four selected proposals for alternative building materials will be announced later.
The finalists—those who made it through the rugged selection process—were named as San Diego-based. Caddell Construction Co. of Montgomery, Alabama, Fisher Sand & Gravel Co. of Tempe, Arizona, Texas Sterling Construction Co., of Houston and W. G. Yates & Sons Construction Company of Philadelphia, Mississippi.
Each company was awarded between $400,000 and about $500,000 each to build the prototypes near the Otay Mesa port of entry. They will be 30 feet long and up to 30 feet high.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection acting deputy commissioner Ronald Vitiello said he expected construction to begin in a couple of weeks, and companies will have 30 days to complete their projects.
Once they are finished, border experts will test the walls for aesthetics, anti-climbing features, resistance to tampering and penetrability with small hand tools.
Contractors are also required to account for other technological features, like sensors, cameras and lighting, that would accompany the physical walls.
After testing, Border Patrol may choose to leave the structures in place, move them or get rid of them, Vitiello said.
“These concrete prototypes will serve two important ends. First, given their robust physical characteristics, like, reinforced concrete, between 18-30 feet high, the concrete border wall prototypes are designed to deter illegal crossings in the area in which they are constructed.
“Second, the concrete border wall prototypes will allow CBP to evaluate the potential for new wall and barrier designs that could complement the wall and barrier designs we have used along the border over the last several years. As the border security environment continues to evolve, CBP will continually refresh its own inventory of tools to meet that evolution.”
Contractors will be responsible for providing their own security, according to Joshua Wilson, spokesman for the San Diego chapter of the National Border Patrol Council.
Because they will be building so close to the border, Wilson said, Border Patrol will also be monitoring the area.
“There has been a lot of planning that’s gone into this,” Wilson said, adding that he couldn’t go into specifics. “All the appropriate measures are being taken.”
“We’re looking forward to the construction of an improved physical barrier, and we’re quite interested to see what kind of innovation private industry is going to bring to the process,” Wilson said. “It’s going to mean increased border security and enhanced public safety.”