Four Companies Chosen For Wall Prototypes

U.S. Customs and Border Protection selected four construction companies Thursday to erect prototypes of the Mexican border wall that President Donald Trump has said he intends to build to deter illegal immigration and smuggling.

A Tempe company has been selected as one of the companies that will produce a concrete prototype of the border wall, but it has a bit of a troubled past.

"This is the first tangible result of the action planning that has gone on, " Vitiello said.

"We were looking for a substantial border barrier", Border Patrol Chief Ronald Vitiello said in announcing the selections in Washington.

The prototypes will be 30 feet long and up to 30 feet high.

W. G. Yates & Sons Construction Company, Philadelphia, Mississippi, was listed as seventh on Engineering News-Record's list of top southeastern USA contractors in 2017.

But long-term funding for a border wall - which could cost $21.6 billion in one Department of Homeland Security estimate, much more according to critics - is still up in the air.

Vitiello said the CBP is "confident in its processes" and would "proceed deliberately to ensure compliance with the law".

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Funding for four other prototypes for a see-through structure, a construction method the president has previously endorsed, will be awarded next week.

CBP in March issued two requests for proposals to acquire conceptual wall designs.

Testing will look at things like the aesthetics of it, how penetrable they are, how resistant they are to tampering and then scaling or anti-climbing.

The contracts for the companies to build the prototypes range from just under $400,000 to just under $500,000.

Wall opponents, meanwhile, said Mr. Trump's timing on the announcement sent a bad signal amid relief efforts in Texas after Hurricane Harvey. The concrete proposals are largely for that secondary barrier, Vitiello said.

That would include money to build 28 miles of levee wall in the Rio Grande Valley and 14 miles of new wall to replace fences south of San Diego.

Trump could still follow through on a threat to shut down the government in December, but this marks the second time he has pulled back from the wall demand in order to allow lawmakers to pass a budget bill.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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