President Trump is delivering on another of his campaign promises.
Fox5 San Diego reports that yesterday, Sept. 26, 2017, construction of eight border wall prototypes has begun just east of the Otay Mesa border crossing.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello said:
“We are committed to securing our border and that includes constructing border walls. Our multi-pronged strategy to ensure the safety and security of the American people includes barriers, infrastructure, technology and people. Moving forward with the prototypes enables us to continue to incorporate all the tools necessary to secure our border.”
The purpose of the wall prototypes is to help Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in determining a “design standard” for the actual border walls by tailoring “a specific wall design to the unique demands of individual areas of the border.”
This is how CBP officials describe the wall prototypes:
- All 8 prototypes will be between 18 and 30 feet high.
- Four will be made of concrete, while the other four will be constructed of alternate, unspecified “other materials.”
- The top designs for a concrete wall came from four companies:
- Caddell Construction Co (DE), LLC, of Montgomery, Alabama.
- Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., DBA Fisher Industries, of Tempe, Arizona.
- Texas Sterling Construction Co., of Houston, Texas.
- W. G. Yates & Sons Construction Company, of Philadelphia, Mississippi.
- Each prototype award is worth roughly $400,000 to $500,000.
- The prototypes are expected to take about 30 days to complete, after which they will be evaluated for their effectiveness in a real-world environment.
The evaluation of the wall prototypes will take roughly three months.
Vitiello said CBP is looking for a “more holistic view” on border security, including cameras, sensors and an enforcement zone in the wall plan. Vitiello showed diagrams of plans for border solutions in both urban and rural areas, which included:
- A “see-through” design (usually a bollard fence) along the immediate border.
- A zone for enforcement.
- A secondary barrier with the cameras and sensors. The concrete proposals are largely for that secondary barrier.
Vitiello said “All those things have to be combined in the proper mix to make it work,” and that each location will be evaluated for the different options. CBP could ultimately use all or none of the prototypes or existing bollard fence designs that now are used on the “immediate border.”
The money for constructing the prototypes came from $20 million that Congress had authorized the Department of Homeland Security to pull from other places in the budget earlier this year. Congress has not yet authorized any further money to actually build new miles of wall.