U.S. Customs and Border Protection said recently that it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico, signalling that he is aggressively pursuing plans to erect “a great wall” along the 2,000-mile border.
The agency said it will request bids on or around March 6 and that companies would have to submit “concept papers” to design and build prototypes by March 10, according to FedBizOpps.gov, a procurement website for federal contractors. The field of candidates will be narrowed by March 20, and finalists must submit offers with their proposed costs by March 24.
Can I Get a Good Deal on a Wall?
The president told the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday that construction will start “very soon” and is “way, way, way ahead of schedule.”
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has sought employees’ opinions during border tours of California, Arizona and Texas but it’s still unclear how Congress would provide funding, how much it would cost and when, exactly, construction could start.
The Government Accountability Office estimated it would cost on average $6.5 million a mile for a fence to keep out people who try to enter on foot and $1.8 million a mile for vehicle barriers. There are currently 354 miles of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle barriers, much of it built during President George W. Bush’s second term.
Republican leaders in Congress have said Trump’s wall would cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. Trump has suggested $12 billion. An internal Homeland Security report prepared for Kelly estimated the cost of extending the wall along the entire U.S.—Mexico border at about $21 billion. Read more