CBP: Contracts awarded for 65 miles of new border wall in South Texas

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This Nov. 13, 2016, file photo shows a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent passing along a section of border wall in Hidalgo, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) ⁠— Approximately 65 miles of a new border wall could go up in South Texas starting in 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Monday.

The agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers teamed up to award three contracts for construction within the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector, which covers Starr, Hidalgo, and Cameron counties.

However, the projects are pending the availability of real estate where no barriers currently exist.

Estimates show the cost of the projects ranges from $385 million to $813 million. They include “18- to 30-foot-tall steel bollard walls, all-weather roads, lighting, enforcement cameras, and other technology,” according to a news release.

The government awarded Southern Border Constructors a base contract of $120 million to build approximately 21 miles of border wall in Starr County. Including options, the total contract value is $258 million. The project would begin west of Falcon Dam Port of Entry and extend to the east.

Southern Border Constructors also received a base contract of $110 million for 22 miles of border wall heading east from the Rio Grande City Port of Entry in Starr and Hidalgo counties. That contract, including options, is $258 million.

Gibraltar-Caddell Joint Venture received a base contract of $155 million to build 22 miles of border wall in Cameron and Hidalgo counties (The total contract value, including options, is $297 million). This project would begin east of the Pharr Port of Entry and extend to the east.

The CBP news release does not explain what is meant by “options.” Border Report reached out to CBP for clarification.

The release said the three projects are not part of President Trump’s National Emergency Declaration concerning the southern border, and the source of funding does not come from the Department of Defense.

According to the release, “construction will not take place at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge; La Lomita Historical Park; Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park; near the Vista del Mar Ranch tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge; or the National Butterfly Center.

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