Border Wall Prototypes Underway Despite Lawsuits, Uncertain Funding

Posted September 28, 2017

Roy Villarreal, acting chief of the Border Patrol's San Diego sector, said another contractor will evaluate each model, which will be up to 30 feet (9 meters) high and 30 feet long.

- Construction is scheduled to begin Tuesday near San Diego on prototypes for a new barrier along the US border with Mexico-the most visible step so far toward President Donald Trump's long-promised border wall.

The prototypes will be built one beside the other on a plot of ground just yards from the fence dividing Otay Mesa from Tijuana, Mexico.

In its most recent effort to dispel further confusion, Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in a statement late last month, "As the Mexican government has always stated, our country will not pay, under any circumstances, for a wall or physical barrier built on US territory along the Mexican border".

The contractors are erecting eight prototypes in San Diego - four made of concrete and four of other materials.

The prototypes are expected to take about 30 days to complete and the evaluation process will take roughly three months.

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Mr Trump said on Friday that the wall should be see-through, repeating earlier claims that it should be transparent to curb the flow of drugs into the country.

'It may not result in a singular victor. Construction began on prototype designs for a border wall in a fenced-off area in Otay Mesa yesterday.

The concrete designs will have openings to allow agents to see across the border.

At issue is a 2005 law that gave the Homeland Security secretary broad powers to waive dozens of laws for border barriers, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Air Act and Endangered Species Act. There is also pending legal action, including a lawsuit filed by the California State Attorney General.

For many, the construction of these prototypes is nothing more than political banter. Recently, a leaked DHS report estimated that building 1,250 miles of fencing and wall could cost $21.6 billion. Six companies are on the run for the contract: Alabama's Caddell Construction, Arizona's KWR Construction, Arizona's Fisher Sand & Gravel, Maryland's ELTA North America, Texas' Sterling Construction, and Mississippi's W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company.