Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

US Customs and Border Protection releases specifics on border wall

But Hidalgo County officials are not the only ones interested in helping to build the border wall.

Construction will proceed with unusual haste.

The proposals are due March 29. Winners will be announced by late May.

But CBP officials said the approach was created to get the best value for the government.

The agency released specifics on Friday, for the first time on how tough the barrier must be. Some 650 miles are already fenced.

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

The request stipulates that the border wall should ideally be 30 feet tall, but may be receptive to designs with a lower height.

"Designs with heights of less than 18 feet are not acceptable", the document said.

The little walls are supposed to be strong.

The notice also says the wall must be built in such a way that it would take an hour to cut through with a sledgehammer, vehicle jack, pick axe, chisel, battery-operated impact tools, cutting tools or torch. They should also be able to span 45 degree slopes, and block tunneling.

Even if the company does not directly participate in building the barrier, the company's leaders believe construction of a border wall could help business. Once the government has determined a model, the prototypes may be demolished. The requests for prototypes also stipulate the wall must be "aesthetically pleasing", at least on the side that faces the US.

With all the other crises assailing us, there has been a hiatus in the debate over the Mexican border wall. The bid calls for companies to hire their own private security contractors to protect their projects. Various estimates have put the project at between $10 billion and $25 billion. Those two phases would cost $5 billion.

Ram??rez, the governor from Mexico, said he was confident that Republicans and Democrats in Congress would defeat Trump's budget.

"His budget highlights his obsession with mass deportations and building a border wall while making clear he is more concerned with keeping campaign promises than keeping the country safe and secure", Rep. Bennie Thompson said in a statement Thursday. The Mexican government has rejected the possibility.

In recent weeks, hundreds of companies indicated interest in the project.

"The general intent of this acquisition is to award multiple indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ), task order contracts for the design and construction of border wall and associated tactical infrastructure/technology along the southwest border", the request states. Each prototype is expected to cost between $200,000 and $500,000, the government notice said.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom.

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