It’s Here: Border Wall Prototype Construction Begins

Mock-ups of the proposed border wall expected to provide a physical barrier between the United States and Mexico are currently being built in San Diego.

Photos released on the Customs and Border Protection Twitter account Wednesday show various construction projects are underway since last Tuesday in Southern California near Tijuana, Mexico.

“Caddell Construction Company, Fisher Sand & Gravel Company, Texas Sterling Construction Company, and W.G. Yates and Sons Construction Company will each receive up to $300 million to build a solid concrete wall prototype,” reports the Washington Examiner.

The structures will reach 18 to 30 feet high and will likely “evolve to meet the US Border Patrol’s requirements,” according to a CBP memo.

The House Appropriations Committee approved $1.6 billion to be allocated towards wall construction back in July, and the House Homeland Security Committee also approved a $10 billion border security bill Wednesday.

The ambitious undertaking has continued unabated despite numerous objections.

Earlier this month California’s attorney general announced he would pursue a lawsuit claiming the wall infringes on the state’s “natural resources, economic interests, procedural rights and sovereignty from violations of the United States Constitution.”


In September, Trump released a photograph depicting what his border wall might look like. It included a 150ft-wide “electronically monitored zone”. Mexico did not comment at the time because its government was helping victims of Hurricane Harvey.

But now the first prototypes of the infamous border wall have been built by various contractors from Alabama, Arizona, Texas and Mississippi. They have reportedly cost between $400,000 and $500,000 each.
“These concrete prototypes will serve two important ends,” a CBP spokesperson said.

“First, given their robust physical characteristics, like reinforced concrete, between 18-30 feet high, the concrete border wall prototypes are designed to deter illegal crossings in the area in which they are constructed.”

The prototypes come in various shapes and include features which will seemingly create an “impenetrable” fortress for the US.

“Second, the concrete border wall prototypes will allow CBP to evaluate the potential for new wall and barrier designs that could complement the wall and barrier designs we have used along the border over the last several years.” the CBP spokesperson added.

“As the border security environment continues to evolve, CBP will continually refresh its own inventory of tools to meet that evolution.”

Large construction projects are not without danger, and, as these prototypes were being built, the first border wall accident took place when a construction worker fell down a 40ft hole at its construction site.
A CBP spokesperson said that it was a “misstep”, and the worker did not suffer from serious injuries. However, the accident puts into context the injuries which desperate immigrants could face once the wall is built. Then again, I guess that is just part of the deterrent.
The prototypes are made of either reinforced concrete, or reinforced concrete and additional construction materials. Work began on them on September 26, and it took the chosen companies just under 30 days to complete. Speaking about the wall, Trump said, “A wall is better than fencing and it’s much more powerful. It’s more secure. It’s taller.”
Whilst it is not known exactly when the wall will be built, initial reactions to the prototypes from Mexicans were skeptical. “People are still going to cross no matter what is there,” said Kevin Ávila Rodríguez. “This won’t change things much.”

Mexican citizens, however, are not the only people who are sceptical about the effectiveness of Trump’s wall.

Thad Bingel, a former senior US Customs and Border Protection official, said, “Every wall can be circumvented. People can go under it, they can go over it. . . . No one should go into this with the idea that if you just build the right kind of wall, no one will get through.”


City leaders in Brownsville, Texas, in August also passed a resolution opposing the construction of the wall.

The agency expects prototypes will be completed within 30 days.



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