Government Seeks Designs for Border Wall

Earlier this week, the White House requested $3 billion more for Homeland Security, with some of that intended for planning and building the border wall.

The pre-solicitation posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website states DHS intends to build "concrete wall structures, nominally 30 feet tall, that will meet requirements for aesthetics, anti-climbing, and resistance to tampering or damage".

Mexico's Cemex (CX) says it won't help build the Trump Administration's planned border wall, but it does expect to benefit from rising cement prices with increased demand from more USA infrastructure spending.

The tender also requires that the USA side should be "aesthetically pleasing" in colour, anti-climb texture etc and to be consistent with the general surrounding environment. Mexico has already ruled out paying for the wall, despite Mr Trump's demands.

This week the president sent a budget proposal to Congress that included a $2.6bn down payment for the wall.

They would have to withstand prolonged attacks with "sledgehammer, vehicle jack, pick axe, chisel, battery operated impact tools, battery operated cutting tools, Oxy/acetylene torch or other similar hand-held tools".

Mexican officials have since repeatedly denied they will contribute financially to the wall's construction. The government says its "nominal concept" is for a 30-foot-high wall, but adds that designs as low as 18 feet "may be acceptable".

The Trump border wall, one of the cornerstone campaign promises in Donald Trump's run for the presidency, is moving into a new stage of its development.

The current fencing is of mixed construction, including 15-foot steel posts set inches apart that are created to keep people from crossing and shorter posts that are meant to block cars.

Congressional Republicans have said Trump's wall would cost between $12bn and $15bn and Trump has suggested $12bn. Its stocks had risen to eight-year highs on speculation that the wall would require US$1 billion of concrete. That drop reverses a years-long trend of apprehensions rising in February as temperatures - and the number of people historically trying to cross the border - also rise.

While it's still not clear how much the proposed border wall would cost the US, the requests require plans to be "cost effective to construct, maintain and fix".

Time-consuming legal challenges are sure to accompany Trump's orders detailing stricter enforcement at the border and in the interior of the country, said Leon Fresco, who led the Justice Department's Office of Immigration Litigation during the Obama administration.

The proposals call for the construction of mock-ups and full-scale prototypes before the final bids for the actual wall are awarded.

"Trump is asking the Americans to pay for the wall", Governor Graco Ramirez of the Mexican state of Morelos said in a news conference.

The Hidalgo County Drainage District proposal estimates about $12 million in development cost per mile.

  • Larry Hoffman