Three miles of new bollard wall border barrier will be built in the Rio Grande Valley Sector under a contract awarded on May 28 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The construction will take place in a currently unsecured portion of Starr County, Texas, near Rio Grande City.
CBP officials announced the award of a construction contract to Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. for $42,860,000 to build a three-mile section of 18-30 foot bollard wall segments. The contract also calls for the installation of detection technology, lighting, and new roads for Border Patrol access, according to information obtained from CBP officials.
Officials stressed that the funding for this construction project is not pursuant to the National Emergency Declaration and does not include any diverted funds from any other source of funding. Specifically, they stated the funds are not coming from the Department of Defense or Treasury Department budgets.
Because of restrictions place by Congress in the FY19 fiscal appropriations bill, “border wall construction will not take place at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, La Lomita Historical Park, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, within or east of the Vista del Mar Ranch tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, or the National Butterfly Center,” officials reported.
The Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector is consistently the busiest in the nation, according to the Southwest Border Migration Report from CBP. More than 40 percent of all illegal immigrants are apprehended in this sector. The sector is also responsible for 43 percent of all marijuana seized by Border Patrol agents and is the second busiest for cocaine. Despite this, large portions of the sector remain unsecured by any type of physical barrier.
“CBP continues to implement President Trump’s Executive Order 13767 – also known as Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements – and continues to take steps to expeditiously plan, design, and construct a physical wall using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve operational control of the southern border,” CBP officials concluded. “This project will improve the RGV sector’s ability to impede and deny illegal border crossings and the drug and human smuggling activities of transnational criminal organizations.”
The contract calls for construction to begin in August 2019.