CBP Announces Contract Awards for New Border Wall System

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced this week three contracts that have been awarded for the construction of 65 miles of new border wall systems across the Rio Grande Valley. The new border fencing will be located across Starr, Hidalgo, and Cameron Counties in Texas.

In a CBP release this week, the agency announced the three contracts, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), to construct between 21 and 22 miles of border fencing per contract.

The first contract for 21 miles of border fencing in Starr county was awarded to Southern Border Constructors for the base contract amount of $120,412,400. The total contract value, including options, is $257,808,800. The area under construction begins west of Falcon Dam Port of Entry and extends eastward in five non-contiguous segments. These segments will connect to other new border wall segments.

The second contract for 22 miles of new border fencing was awarded to the same company for the base contract amount of $110,022,700. The total contract value, including options, is $258,085,400. This project will begin east of the Rio Grande City Port of Entry and extend eastward in two non-contiguous segments.

The final contract for 22 miles of new border fencing was awarded to Gibraltar-Caddell Joint Venture for the base contract amount of $155,269,992. These additions to the wall will be located within Cameron and Hidalgo Counties. The total contract value, including options, is $296,709,805. This project begins east of the Pharr Port of Entry and extends eastward in 12 non-contiguous segments, which will connect to other new border wall segments.

According to the CBP release, the Rio Grande Valley is the busiest sector of the border and accounts for approximately 40% of the apprehensions of individuals entering the country illegally. This fiscal year, it also ranks first in seized cocaine and marijuana along the southwest border. The majority of this activity is said to occur in areas where infrastructure, access and mobility, and technology are limited.

The agency’s release also clarifies that these funds were not garnered though the president’s emergency declaration or any other source of funding available to the Department of Defense. CBP also notes that, pursuant to FY 2019 appropriations, 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.

The new border wall system will include an 18 to 30-foot-tall steel bollard wall, all-weather roads, lighting, enforcement cameras, and other related technology to “create a complete enforcement zone.” Construction is set to begin in early 2020.

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