Contracts Awarded for 65 Miles of New Texas Border Walls

In this April 29, 2019, photo, construction equipment sets in an area of demolished trees and brush where construction is set to begin soon, in Mission , Texas. The cleared area included a mix of trees, including mesquite, mulberry and hackberry, used to protect birds during the ongoing nesting season. …
AP File Photo/Eric Gay

Federal officials announced the awarding of approximately 65 miles of new walls along the Texas Border. Officials reported the new wall is not funded under President Donald Trump’s National Emergency Declaration or any other Department of Defense funding.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced on Monday, the awarding of contracts to build three sections of new border barriers totally approximately 65 miles. Construction under the contracts is slated to begin early next year, according to information obtained from CBP officials. The new sections will be built in the nation’s busiest border crossing region, the Rio Grande Valley Sector. Officials awarded all three contracts on September 29.

The first contract provides up to $257,808,800 for a new bollard wall to be built in the area west of the Falcon Dam Port of Entry and extending eastward for approximately 21 miles. The wall will be built in two non-contiguous segments in Starr County, Texas, intended to connect to other new border wall segments, officials reported. Approximately $120 million of the contract covers the base project while the remaining $139 million is allocated for options.

The second contract provides up to $258,085,400 for a new bollard wall to be built in Starr and Hidalgo Counties. The wall will be built in two non-contiguous segments east of the Rio Grande City Port of entry and extending eastward for approximately 22 miles. It is intended to connect to other new border wall segments, officials reported. Approximately $110 million of the contract covers the base project while the remaining $148 million is allocated for options.

The third contract provides up to $296,709,805 for a new bollard wall to be built in Cameron and Hidalgo Counties. The wall will be built in 12 non-contiguous segments east of the Pharr Port of entry and extending eastward for approximately 22 miles. It is intended to connect to other new border wall segments, officials reported. Approximately $155 million of the contract covers the base project while the remaining $142 million is allocated for options.

“The border wall system will include an 18-30 foot tall steel bollard wall, all-weather roads, lighting, enforcement cameras, and other related technology to create a complete enforcement zone,” officials stated. “Construction is anticipated to begin in early 2020, pending availability of real estate, and will take place in locations where no barriers currently exist.”

Approximately 40 percent of all migrant apprehensions along the southwest border with Mexico take place in the Rio Grande Valley Sector. While some barriers exist, there are many gaps in the existing walls that will be closed by these construction projects. “The majority of its activity is occurring in areas where RGV has limited infrastructure, access and mobility, and technology,” officials reported.

Officials stressed that these contracts are not undertaken “pursuant to the National Emergency Declaration, 10 U.S.C § 284, 10 U.S.C. § 2808, or any other source of funding available to the Department of Defense.” The barriers will not be constructed in 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, the report states.

“These projects 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, CBP officials concluded.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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