40 miles of new border wall to be built in Texas

A Border Patrol unit drives by the construction site of a new section of the border wall between the US city of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico on August 17, 2020. (Photo by HERIKA MARTINEZ / AFP) (Photo by HERIKA MARTINEZ/A

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says that it has awarded two contracts to build roughly 40 miles of new border walls in Webb County, Texas.

The project, done in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will build walls where no barriers currently exist. It will include a 30-foot tall steel bollard wall, all-weather roads, lighting, enforcement cameras, and other related technology, according to the agency.

The contract for approximately 27 miles was awarded to Fisher Sand & Gravel Co., for a total contract value of $283,150,000.

The second contract for approximately 13 miles was awarded to Southwest Valley Constructors Co., for a total contract value of $201,250,000.  Both contracts are being funded with U.S. tax dollars.

Construction is not expected to begin in September 2021.

“The Laredo Sector is an area of high illegal activity, with over 43,000 illegal entry encounters and over 39,000 pounds of drugs seized through the end of August,” the CBP said in a statement.

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Building a border wall was one of President Donald Trump's signature campaign pledges four years ago, although he had promised then that Mexico would pay for the wall.

Currently, the U.S. Border Patrol says it has completed just 321 miles of walls during the Trump administration, though almost all of that is replacing existing barriers.