The Trump administration wants to build a 30-foot-high border wall that is visually appealing from the north side and is difficult to climb or cut through, new documents have revealed.
A pair of contract notices posted online late Friday by Customs and Border Protection provide some specification of what President Donald Trump wants for his ‘big, beautiful wall’ at the Mexican border.
This is the second time the Trump administration has asked for private companies to bid on building the wall. Last month CPB put out a call for ‘concept papers’ to design and build prototypes by March 10.
Proposals for the wall are due to the government by March 29.
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Trump is calling for proposals from private companies to build his ‘big, beautiful wall’ at the Mexican border. CBP memos are asking for ‘physically imposing’ and ‘aesthetically pleasing’ designs. Pictured: U.S.-Mexico border fence at Santa Teresa, New Mexico
Proposals for the DHS in President Donald Trump’s first budget are displayed in Washington. The budget requests call for billions of dollars for some of Trump’s most high-profile and contentious campaign promises, including a $2.6bn down payment for a border wall
One of the CBP contract requests calls for a solid concrete wall, while the other asks for proposals for a see-through structure.
Both require the wall to sink at least six feet into the ground and include 25- and 50-foot automated gates for pedestrians and vehicles.
The proposed wall must also be built in such a way that it would take at least an hour to cut through it with a ‘sledgehammer, car jack, pick axe, chisel, battery operated impact tools, battery operated cutting tools, Oxy/acetylene torch or other similar hand-held tools.’
It also ‘shall be physically imposing in height,’ and must be ‘aesthetically pleasing in color,’ at least on the U.S. side, CNN reported.
The government will award a contract based on 30-foot-wide sample walls that are to be built in San Diego.
Trump has bragged in recent days that the wall is ahead of schedule, though it’s unclear from the latest contract notices if any firms have submitted wall proposals or if any such submissions have been rejected.
The government has not said where the wall will be built, though the contract notices suggest some pieces of a new wall could replace existing fencing that stretches over about 700 miles of the roughly 2,000-mile border.
One CBP contract request calls for solid concrete wall proposals while the other asks for proposals for see-through structures. Proposals for the wall are due to the government by March 29. Pictured: The border at Hidalgo, Texas
Trump, pictured on March 17 touching down to mar-a-Lago yesterday for his 5th visit there since his inauguration, has been bragging that the wall is ahead of schedule. It is not clear if any proposals for the wall have been received
The current fencing is of mixed construction, including 15-foot steel posts set inches apart that are designed to keep people from crossing and shorter posts that are intended to block cars.
Border Patrol agents are constantly repairing holes in the structure.
CBP is the Homeland Security Department agency that will oversee the building project and eventually patrol and maintain the wall.
Trump has long promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, which he has said is necessary to stop the flow of immigrants crossing the border illegally as well as drug smugglers.
This week the president sent a budget proposal to Congress that included a $2.6bn down payment for the wall.
The total cost for the project is unclear, but the Government Accountability Office estimates it would cost about $6.5m per mile for fence to keep pedestrians from crossing the border and about $1.8m per mile for a vehicle barrier.
Congressional Republicans have said Trump’s wall would cost between $12bn and $15bn and Trump has suggested $12bn.
An internal report prepared for Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly estimated the cost of building a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border at about $21bn, according to a U.S. government official who is involved in border issues. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not been made public.
That report proposed an initial phase that would extend fences 26 miles and a second wave that would add 151 miles, plus 272 ‘replacement’ miles where fences are already installed, according to the official.
Those two phases would cost $5bn.
It is unclear how soon Congress might act on that request or how much money lawmakers will ultimately approve for the wall.
Democrats and some Republicans have said a border-long wall is unnecessary.
The Department of Homeland Security reported earlier this month that the number of border arrests dropped about 44 per cent from January to February, the lowest monthly tallies since at the least the start of the 2012 budget year.