- U.S. Customs and Border Protection, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, announced the start of construction at another section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, with the latest contract worth up to $5.7 million. San Antonio, Texas-based Gideon Contracting will install automated border wall gates at areas where there are gaps in an existing pedestrian wall.
- Gideon will erect seven gates within the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector in Cameron County, Texas, for $3.7 million. Construction of the seven gates was scheduled to begin Nov. 30. Gideon’s contract also includes a $1.9 million option for four additional gates.
- The CBP plans to install a total of 35 gates, along with related equipment and site upgrades, at the end of or along existing levee ramps close to the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission levee. Completion of the gates will still grant access to the river to property owners, federal agencies, emergency personnel and other officials but will make it more difficult for smugglers to get across the border.
Border wall construction and repairs are ongoing, despite a resistance on the part of many lawmakers to commit to additional funding. President Donald Trump managed to squeak $1.6 billion in border wall funds out of Congress in the last spending bill and wants a reported $5 billion more. The federal government could be headed for a shutdown later this month if the president and lawmakers can’t reach an agreement on the issue.
Despite money squabbles, the CBP has announced hundreds of millions of border wall construction contracts in the past few months. During Thanksgiving week, the agency awarded contracts totaling $491 million to Galveston, Texas-based SLSCO Ltd. ($167 million) and Bozeman, Montana-based contractor Barnard Construction Co. ($324 million) for levee wall and pedestrian replacement walls in Texas and Arizona, respectively.
Border construction projects encompass more than just wall-related construction, though. In August, the CBP opened a new 100,000-square-foot pedestrian processing building at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry at the U.S.-Mexico border in San Ysidro, California. The project, which is the second phase of a $741 million, three-phase expansion designed and built by the team of Stantec and Hensel Phelps, includes new pedestrian lanes and inspection booths for U.S.-bound travelers, a historic renovation of the facility’s 1930s Customs House and more space to process those headed into Mexico.