At a press briefing Monday, the U.S. Border Patrol announced that construction is beginning today to replace a 20-mile section of vehicle barriers with a new see-through border fence.

The Washington Times reported:

At $73 million, it works out to less than $4 million per mile of fencing — far cheaper than estimates for the rest of Mr. Trump’s wall, which is pegged at about $25 million per mile.

The area where the new fencing will be erected is currently protected by vehicle barriers, which amount to a single bar, about belt-high, held up by poles spaced several feet apart. They can hinder a car or truck barreling through the desert but do little to stop smugglers and illegal immigrants on foot.

Homeland Security officials said with Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican city of nearly 2 million people, so close to the spot, the vehicle barriers are no longer considered effective enough.

Below is the press release which was published on the U.S. Border Patrol website announcing the new construction:

SANTA TERESA, N.M, – As part of the President’s Executive Order 13767, and at the direction of the Department of Homeland Secretary, construction for a border wall replacement in Santa Teresa with new bollard style wall will begin on Monday, April 9.

“We need effective barriers to deny the entry of illegal aliens and contraband,” said Chief Patrol Agent Aaron A. Hull, U.S. Border Patrol, El Paso Sector. “Our agents know that a balance of physical infrastructure, technology and personnel is key to securing the border and keeping our communities safe.”

CBP awarded a construction contract January 22 to Barnard Construction of Bozeman, Montana. The area of the border wall replacement will be a 20-mile section of existing vehicle barrier located just west of the Santa Teresa Port of Entry and extending westward. The existing barrier will be replaced with an 18- to 30-foot high bollard-style wall. The contract also includes removal of existing vehicle barrier as well as roadway and drainage improvements.

Construction is slated to run for approximately 390 days. The project cost is approximately $73.3 million.

To begin to meet the need for additional border infrastructure in this area, DHS is replacing legacy vehicle barriers that no longer meet the Border Patrol’s operation needs with new bollard wall.

The ability to see through into Mexico is a concept supported by the bollard style wall included in this project. This style of wall has proved beneficial to the Border Patrol to detect illegal entries and the smuggling of narcotics into the United States.

El Paso Sector continues to experience a high number of apprehensions of illegal immigrants and drug smuggling. In fiscal year 2017, the El Paso Sector apprehended 25,193 illegal aliens, seized 34,189 pounds of marijuana and 140 pounds of cocaine. During that fiscal year, there were 54 assaults against El Paso Sector agents.

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