To see how this announcement fits into the timeline of border wall construction, click here.
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded $976 million in U.S.-Mexico border wall contracts, the first barrier construction projects paid for with funds made available under President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration made on Feb. 15.
- The Army Corps gave SLS Ltd., based in Galveston, Texas, a $789 million fixed-price contract for barrier replacement in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. The Army Corps also issued Bozeman, Montana-based Barnard Construction Co. a $187 million contract, based on a design-bid-build procurement process, for primary pedestrian wall replacement in Yuma, Arizona.
- The New Mexico project is scheduled for completion by Oct. 1, 2020, and the Arizona project is expected to be finished by Sept. 30, 2020.
At the end of March, the Pentagon transferred $1 billion from the Department of Defense’s counter-drug budget to the Corps to support the construction of 57 miles of 18-foot-tall pedestrian fencing, road improvements and lighting upgrades. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said at the time that the money would be used to beef up security at known drug-smuggling corridors, The Hill reported.
The president, by using the national emergency declaration, could secure as much as $8 billion for border wall construction — $1.4 billion through the spending bill approved in February, $2.5 billion from the DOD’s counter-narcotics funds, $601 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund and $3.6 billion earmarked for military construction.
There is, however, $3.6 billion included in the president's Fiscal Year 2020 budget that would replace funds taken from the military construction budget, according to DOD. If the budget moves forward as proposed, unawarded military construction projects on the DOD's $12.8 billion list would likely move forward as planned.
SLS and Barnard are border wall construction veterans. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) awarded SLS a $287 million contract in December to build up to 14 miles of secondary wall and up to 15 miles of primary pedestrian replacement wall in California. In November, CBP also issued SLS a $167 million contract to build 8 miles of levee wall in Texas and $145 million for similar work in the Rio Grande Valley.
Also in November, CBP awarded Barnard a $324 million contract to build 32 miles of primary pedestrian replacement wall — 5 miles in Arizona and 27 miles in Arizona. The federal government also issued a $73 million design-build contract to Barnard in March for the replacement of a 20-mile piece of fencing to replace a border barrier in New Mexico.