Customs and Border Protection announced yesterday that it has awarded contracts to four companies for building concrete prototypes for President Trump’s proposed border wall along the U.S./Mexico border.
CBP says that the prototypes serve two important purposes. The first is that their robust physical characteristics, such as reinforced concrete and a height of between 18-30 feet, will help to deter illegal crossings in the area in which they are constructed.
Second, the concrete border wall prototypes will allow CBP to evaluate the potential for new wall and barrier designs that could complement the wall and barrier designs which have been used along the border over the last several years. As the border security environment continues to evolve, CBP will continually refresh its own inventory of tools to meet that evolution.
According to Karl Calvo, assistant commissioner for CBP’s Office of Facilities and Asset Management, “Plans call for no more than eight and no less than four” prototypes. He also noted that the arrangement gives CBP a try-before-you-buy advantage and an opportunity to evaluate the wall prototypes in actual field conditions.
According to Calvo, prototypes must meet U.S. Border Patrol requirements and withstand “destructive testing,” meaning Border Patrol agents will test the wall’s resistance using power tools and other methods they expect border crossers to employ to break through the barrier.
The companies selected to construct concrete border wall prototypes are:
- Caddell Construction Co., (DE), LLC, Montgomery, Alabama,
- Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., DBA Fisher Industries, Tempe, Arizona,
- Texas Sterling Construction Co., Houston, Texas, and
- W. G. Yates & Sons Construction Company, Philadelphia, Mississippi.
On March 17, 2017 CBP issued two Requests for Proposals to acquire conceptual wall designs with the intent to construct multiple prototypes. One called for concrete wall design (the one just awarded) and the other called for “Other than Concrete” wall design.
CBP will make a decision on the “Other than Concrete” RFP in the next week and said that it expects construction to begin in the fall. The prototypes will be constructed in the San Diego sector.