Reports indicate that the Trump administration is moving forward with designs for a potential wall on the US-Mexico border, and the Department of Homeland Security recently awarded eight contracts for prototypes to be built.
Detailed in the contracts is authorization for the building of eight 30-foot concrete prototypes and designs made out of other materials.
While Trump and Congress have yet to successfully negotiate funding for the wall, the contracts at least signal to supporters that the idea hasn’t completely been abandoned.
“Congress approved DHS and CBP to reprogram $20 million to commence wall planning and to award the construction of four to eight prototypes,” a DHS spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon. “Planning includes use of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and architecture and engineering support for real estate, environmental, and wall design efforts.”
Trump signed an executive order his first week in office prompting the DHS to “immediately plan, design and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control of the southern border.”
Six companies will build concrete wall prototypes. Caddell Construction and W.G. Yates and Sons Construction Company will both build wall prototypes as well as designs made of other materials. Other companies receiving contracts were Fisher Industries, Texas Sterling Construction Company, KWR Construction, Inc., and ELTA North America Inc.
“First, given their robust physical characteristics—for example, they will be between 18 and 30 feet high—the ‘other materials’ border wall prototypes are designed to deter illegal crossings in the area in which they are constructed,” the CBP said. “Second, they will provide an innovative perspective in the application of new materials which will allow CBP to evaluate the potential for new wall and barrier designs to complement the current wall and barrier used along the Southwest border.”
The Border Patrol will then evaluate the prototypes once they are completed.
“The prototypes will inform future design standards which will likely continue to evolve to meet the U.S. Border Patrol’s requirements,” the CBP said. “Through the prototyping process, CBP may identify new designs or influences that will expand the current border barrier toolkit, which is based on U.S. Border Patrol requirements, that CBP could use to construct a border wall system.”
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