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Border fence between Tijuana, Mexico, on the right, and the US near San Diego on the left, in 2007 (Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde/Wikimedia Commons)

US awards 9.6km border wall construction contract

7 November 2018 | By Joe Quirke 1 Comment

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency has awarded a $145m contract for the construction of a 9.6km wall between the border of the US and Mexico.

Texas firm SLS will build a reinforced concrete levee in the Rio Grande Valley area with 5.5m high bollards installed on top.

CBP said in a press release: “The enforcement zone will also include detection technology, lighting, video surveillance, and an all-weather patrol road parallel to the levee wall.”

Despite the security measures, US citizens and officials will still be able to travel between the two countries.

The contract’s size and scale are minuscule compared with the total cost of a barrier, as a wall to seal the border would need to be 2,000km long, and may cost as much as $21bn to build.

The border wall was a cornerstone of President Trump’s electoral campaign, and the timing of the contract coincided with Trump’s midterm elections.

The CBP said last year in Rio Grande Valley area it “apprehended 137,000 illegal aliens, and seized approximately 260,000 pounds of marijuana and approximately 1,192 pounds of cocaine”.

Construction is due to begin in February 2019.

The CBP added that it would continue to work on the full border wall and is taking steps to “expeditiously plan, design, and construct the wall using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control of the southern border”.

Image: Border fence between Tijuana, Mexico, on the right, and the US near San Diego on the left, in 2007 (Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde/Wikimedia Commons)

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