Contractor offers to build 234 miles of border wall for $1.4B
- A North Dakota contractor says his company can build a 234-mile barrier system along the U.S.-Mexico border for $1.4 billion, significantly less than the $8 billion President Donald Trump is trying to cobble together by declaring a national emergency at the border, the Washington Examiner reported.
- Fisher Sand and Gravel CEO Tommy Fisher told the Examiner that his price includes 20 miles of levee wall in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, plus another 214 miles of border wall. Fisher added that his company could deliver that section of wall, plus paved roads, border technology and a warranty for $4.3 billion.
- Fisher told the Examiner that his offer was meant to “break through government bureaucracy” and that the Customs and Border Protection's plans to split the wall into multiple small awards was “not going to cut it.”
Fisher has given previous estimates of between almost $11 billion and $12 billion for 700 miles of a cast-in-place concrete wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. The company was also one of the contractors chosen in August 2017 to build a concrete border wall prototype in San Diego.
One of the problems with Fisher’s latest proposal is that the potential $8 billion of wall funding the president hopes to win can only be used in the Rio Grande Valley. Another is that the administration has now expressed a preference for a wall with steel slats or bollards rather than the concrete wall Fisher said his company would build.
The White House’s ability to secure the $8 billion through a national emergency declaration is also up in the air. The Senate is expected to vote next week to block the order, with a veto by the president likely to follow. The administration’s actions will also likely result in protracted legal battles, which the president acknowledged when he declared the national emergency.
The president will also have to appropriate $3.6 billion of funds intended for military-related construction. Defense officials have said that housing and barracks funding won’t be cut, but the prospect of losing money-making construction projects has sent legislators like Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) and Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and others into overdrive as they try to keep their districts off the chopping block.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has not yet requested support from the Department of Defense but noted that it would take months after such a request for construction funds to become available. After a recent tour of the border, Shanahan said he believed that barriers were necessary at certain locations.
- Washington Examiner Company offers to build 234 miles of border wall for $1.4 billion
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