Ever so controversial border wall appears to be on track
(INTELLIHUB) — The Trump Administration is taking the next step to follow through on perhaps its most controversial campaign promise, the construction of a “big beautiful” wall along the southern border, as U.S. Customs and Border Protection has posted bid guidelines for contractors looking to submit proposals for the multi-billion dollar project.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued requests for proposals for prototypes for a wall along the Mexican border, saying ideally it should be 30 feet (9 meters) high and the wall facing the U.S. side should be “aesthetically pleasing in color.”
According to official documents, the wall should be built using concrete and be “physically imposing.” And although it looks like 30 feet is the desired height of the structure, designs over 18 feet high could be acceptable.
The design should also prevent humans from climbing to the top of the wall or gaining access the top of the wall from either side unassisted. According to specifications listed, “The wall design shall include anti-climb topping features that prevent scaling using common and more sophisticated climbing aids (e.g. grappling hooks, handholds, etc.).”
It is also requested that the structure should “prevent/deter for a minimum of 30 minutes the creation a physical breach of the wall (e.g., punching through the wall) larger than 12-inches in diameter or square using a sledgehammer, car jack, pick ax, chisel, battery operated impact tool.”
And for those thinking about tunneling under the wall, they can think again, because the wall’s specifications should prevent digging or tunneling below it for a minimum of 6 feet below the lowest adjacent grade.
Proposals are expected to be delivered by March 29 and contracts will later be rewarded based on the best rock solid 30-foot-long prototype which contractors will be required to build in San Diego.
President Trump has given a cost estimate of $12 billion for his border wall project but some analysts have placed the cost much higher, up to $25B.
Congressional Republicans have calculated an estimate more in line with the President’s, saying Trump’s wall would cost between $12 – $15 billion while Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly put the cost at about $21 billion. Kelly told Fox News in February that he expects “the wall will be built where it’s needed first, and then it will be filled in … I really hope to have it done within the next two years.”
Trump’s budget proposal allocates $1.5 billion for the border wall this year, with another $2.6 billion reserved for the project as a down payment in the following fiscal year. More money will also be heading to DHS to hire 500 new border patrol agents and 20 attorneys who can help procure land.
A U.S. Department of Homeland Security internal report seen by Reuters back in February maintains that the wall could take more than three years to construct and will be completed in three phases.
[…] the first phase would be the smallest, targeting sections covering 26 miles (42 km) near San Diego, California; El Paso, Texas; and in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley [while the] second phase of construction proposed in the report would cover 151 miles (242 km) of border in and around the Rio Grande Valley; Laredo, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; El Paso, Texas and Big Bend, Texas. The third phase would cover an unspecified 1,080 miles (1,728 km), essentially sealing off the entire U.S.-Mexico border.
Although Trump promised that Mexico would foot the bill for the wall, the fact that the president’s budget proposal requests money for the project has some now believing that U.S. taxpayers are officially paying for it.
“Trump is asking the Americans to pay for the wall,” Gov. Graco Ramírez of the Mexican state of Morelos said in a news conference on Saturday. “The first victory is ours.”
The President repeatedly promised during his campaign that “Mexico” is going to pay for the wall and has so far made good on a great number of his other campaign promises.
Over 600 designs for the wall are anticipated to be submitted by contractors, including one design from Mexico.